If you look in the dictionary for a definition of  “Tour de Force” you will find one word. “Gravity.”  Writer and Director Alfonso Cuaron spent $100 million of Warner Bros money and spent it well.

This movie grabs you from the first moment and doesn’t let you go until the last scene. There is never a second that the characters, and through them the audience, aren’t at risk.

Medical Engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Astronaut Matt Kolowski (George Clooney) are, with the rest of their space shuttle crew, on a repair mission to the Hubble telescope. While Kolowski shows off with a jet pack, Stone is making repairs. They are warned from mission control that space debris from a Russian Satellite is coming their way and to abort the mission.

Of course there’s not time and the debris hit the shuttle, blowing Stone into space and killing the rest of the crew. Kolowski makes a hail Mary save, but if you think the problems are bad now, just wait.

They decide to head to the International Space Station since the shuttle is damaged beyond repair. Things go from bad to worse and well…see it for yourself.

This is the best acting you will ever see from Bullock and if she doesn’t win an Oscar, the Academy is more screwed up that we already know it is. There is no scene when she is not in the middle, whether reliving the loss of a child or deciding to give up and shut off her oxygen. For Clooney, this was a walk on.

Gravity is visually stunning, with the best special effects you will ever see in a space movie. This isn’t really scifi, since virtually all of it is possible, if not plausible. There are no aliens, no “save humanity from the invaders. This is a woman who against all odds…

When the action stopped, and a black screen with the title appeared, the audience was sitting in stunned silence. Virtually everyone sat through the credits, if for no other reason that they needed the adrenalin to subside a bit before they could stand. Incredibly, you extremities are still tingling when you get home.

Gravity tells me that Hollywood can make great movies, tell strong stories, and entertain. All it not lost.

Go see this film.


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John Van Horn

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