Star-power in the stars isn't the only thing propelling Gravity to great heights.
Outer space, cinema and feelings of awed humility have always experienced an intrinsic link. From Méliès's 1902 A Trip to the Moon through Kubrick's 2001 and Tarkovsky's Solaris right up to Duncan Jones' recent Moon, this connection has never been broken. The greatest picture show in the universe lies above us; post-global pollution – we just have to go to the cinema to catch it.
Following medical engineer Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney) during a space shuttle exercise that goes drastically wrong, the film benefits from two Hollywood stars at the top of their game and a technical production that is truly breath-taking.
With Gravity, Cuarón takes the possibilities of cinema portrayal of space exploration to new heights. Essentially, cinema space has never been as deep or as evocative as this. It attempts to describe the indescribable, the feelings that a human has when they find themselves drifting off into an endless abyss of nothing, with nothing to motivate them except an animalistic sense of survival. It is the realisation one feels that for all our achievements and bright ideas we are but microbes in the wider scheme of things.
This might make Gravity sound depressing. It isn't. Light years away from that. It is life-affirming in the best possible sense, bringing into sparkling 3D the fact that what we do does matter. The connections we make and the memories we hold keep us alive. Highly recommended.
Gravity | Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (USA 2013) with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Starts October 3