Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA/United Kingdom, 2013. Warner Bros., Esperanto Filmoj, Heyday Films. Screenplay by Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron. Cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. Produced by Alfonso Cuaron, David Heyman. Music by Steven Price. Production Design by Andy Nicholson. Costume Design by Jany Temime. Film Editing by Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are astronauts on a routine space-walk fixing machinery in orbit, he an old pro at the job and she in free-fall for the first time. They try to wrap up quickly when they are informed that debris is speeding at them from a recently destroyed satellite, but are not fast enough to prevent a collision that leaves the two of them stranded and desperate to do whatever they can to make it to a space station and then back home to earth. Sleek, stylish and so very smooth, Alfonso Cuaron’s exciting and tense adventure film is notable for being an outer-space feature that does not pressure itself to include any science-fiction elements: there isn’t even romance let alone aliens, just humans and technology, the struggle to survive played out in what feels like real time (of course it is not) with the aid of blisteringly charismatic performances and superb visual effects. Bullock is particularly memorable for employing her familiar amiability and terrific timing without ever overplaying her hand, and she and the director put the audience in her shoes enough to make it a continuously nerve-wracking experience.
Academy Awards: Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron); Best Cinematography; Best Visual Effects; Best Film Editing; Best Sound Mixing; Best Sound Editing; Best Original Score
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress (Sandra Bullock); Best Production Design
Golden Globe Award: Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress-Drama (Sandra Bullock); Best Original Score
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Actress (Sandra Bullock)
Toronto International Film Festival: 2013