Sandra Bullock and George Clooney bring their star power to the stars in the space epic "Gravity." Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman filed the following review for NY1.
In "Gravity," George Clooney plays a veteran astronaut who looks amusingly like Buzz Lightyear, and Sandra Bullock is a medical engineer who is taking her first voyage into space and is having a hard time keeping her lunch down. The two float around in the inky silent darkness, with the Earth spread beneath them like a giant luminescent screen saver. Even when tethered to a spacecraft, they're really out there, exhilaratingly and terrifyingly free.
The miracle of the movie is the way the director, Alfonso Cuarón, using special effects and 3-D with a nearly poetic simplicity and command, places the audience right up there in space along with them. The camera hovers and glides, following the characters through pod doors and into the cramped interiors of satellites and then out again, giving the entire movie the feel of a single unbroken shot.
"Gravity" is an awesome technological daydream of a movie. It might be called sci-fi, except that it isn't a futuristic fantasy. It's a tale of disaster, grief and survival rooted in the possibilities of space travel as they exist today.
Clooney's Matt Kowalski and Bullock's Ryan Stone are on a routine mission, but then there's a bulletin from Houston. A Russian satellite has exploded, causing a chain reaction. A shower of debris is about to come flying right at them, so they must abort the mission. It's too late, though. The debris hits them, full force, tearing the ship apart. Seconds later, there is no ship. They are lost in space.
The ebb and flow of "Gravity's" story is deeply organic. What's thrilling is that the characters are given no easy outs. The two actors are phenomenal. Clooney shows a haunting chivalry beneath his bluster, and Bullock is as desperate and resourceful and anxious and brave as Sigourney Weaver in the last half of "Alien." When she wriggles, slowly, out of her spacesuit, we realize we're watching a tale of rebirth, and Bullock's acting attains a new purity. She floats through this movie yet grounds it, letting "Gravity" connect with all of us these days who feel just a little adrift.