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. Academy Awards 2013. American Film Institute 2013. Golden Globe Awards 2013. New York Film Critics Awards 2013. Toronto International Film Festival 2013. Washington Film Critics Awards 2013.
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.