America’s Sweetheart, Sandra Bullock, is a sure-fire lock for her next Oscar nomination. In fact, it’s likely that America’s favorite bachelor, George Clooney, and visionary director, Alfonso Cuaron, are as well.
Cuaron, Children of Men and Harry Potter Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, spent four and a half years working on the film. According to Variety, Cuaron’s close friend James Cameron helped guide the 3D and visual effects process while the technology was developed to make the film possible.
The painstaking efforts of Cuaron and company have paid off. Already Gravity has broken records for October openings. The film took in a massive $55 million in its first weekend alone. It is set for a massive haul, unheard of in the languishing release period between summer and holiday blockbusters. The film, which took in the highest percentage of 3D and IMAX ticket presales ever, will likely see a spring rerelease for awards season as well.
Bullock gives the audience the best acting of her career, making her Oscar win for The Blindside seem undeserved in comparison. This critic’s only complaint was best voiced by renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, “Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock’s hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head.”
While Tyson is quick to take the errors as an opportunity to educate, others in his field are decidedly more lenient, offering up lavish praise while accepting that a filmmaker couldn’t possibly get every detail correct.
Clooney deserves just as much praise. His role is smaller, yet he manages to remind the audience why he is the king of award fare. Where Clooney is normally suave and charming, here he is stern and commands the audience’s attention even when only his voice is heard for long stretches of film.
Cuaron creates a masterful film fraught with tension and loneliness. The sense of loss and despair is reminiscent of Duncan Jones’ (Zowie Bowie, son of David) Moon. Yet, throughout the overwhelming odds facing the astronauts, Cuaron manages to inject hope into the direst of situations. Gravity has easily earned its place among the best space films of all time.