'Gravity' review: Unrelentingly intense, visually stunning
Incredible acting, screenplay, cinematography, editing and 3D - 'Gravity' makes its claim as the best all-around film of 2013.
In short: A scientist (Sandra Bullock) and an astronaut (George Clooney) fight to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. (watch the trailer)
This sci-fi thriller tests the endurance of audiences. Its wall-to-wall intensity offers only brief respites to catch your breath ... before another terrifying, dread-inducing sequence begins. Every moment of this film is overwhelming - overwhelming beauty, overwhelming danger and overwhelming suspense.
Alfonso Cuarón has directed a film that is filled with awe-inspiring wonder, stomach-dropping terror and a persistent eeriness. It beautifully composes the isolation and helplessness of space against the stunning backdrop of the Earth alone in space.
The genius of 'Gravity' is how streamlined this focused story is: every scene and frame directly relates to the 'survive the disaster' plot. Even at a trim 90 minutes in running time, this is an emotionally exhausting ride, compact with one escalating crisis right after another.
Bullock and Clooney are essentially the only two main characters in this film - and they prove why they are A-list stars among Hollywood's elite. Bullock commands every scene and it's hard to imagine anyone but Clooney playing the chatty, veteran astronaut. These two characters are not simply two names fighting to survive - these are two soulful characters whose humanity becomes the core of this incredibly moving story.
'Gravity' not only deserves an Oscar nomination for visual effects, it deserves to outright win the award right now. The stunning effects not only make this film possible or realized on the big screen - they precisely define an outer space environment that is simultaneously incredibly gorgeous and fatally dangerous.
Finally, this is a truly immersive film absolutely meant to be watched in 3D. It's not only worth the 3D premium - watching 'Gravity' in 2D should just not be allowed.
Final verdict: 'Gravity' is an absolute must-see film of 2013. By the time the end credits begin to roll, your palms will be sweaty, your heart will be moved and you'll have a few new gray hairs. This is cinematic storytelling at its most breathtaking.