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Venice Review: Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity' Starring Sandra Bullock & George Clooney

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist August 28, 2013 at 6:22AM

Since JFK vowed to put a man on the moon in 1961, space has represented untold possibility. Hope. Optimism. But once we actually got there, we realized what a terrifying place it can be. An endless void, freezing and/or burning, a place without air or life. But most terrifyingly of all, if you die in space, you die alone: thousands of miles above and away from your loved ones. And more than anything, aren’t we most afraid of dying alone? Alfonso Cuaron seems to think so, as that’s the fear that drives his new film, the extraordinary “Gravity.”
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POSITIVE

Variety: “The script modulates the tension expertly, deftly preying on the claustrophobic and the agoraphobic alike, and maintaining an unflagging sense of peril as it carefully throws Stone (Bullock) one lifeline after another.”

HitFix: “Alfonso Cuarón's astonishing new film nonetheless goes to great, gruelling and frequently gasp-inducing pains to illustrate that "life in space is impossible." Demands compellingly to be made and seen in 3D. For sheer transference of experience upon the audience, I can think of no film quite like it.”

Film4: “Gravity pulls off the creative miracle of being at once spectacular and thoughtful, and by turns terrifying and pensive”.

Screen Daily: “Almost balletic, spiraling, scenes as space craft are torn apart and mere humans in delicate space suits are thrown into the void with moments of quiet beauty as they the two intrepid astronauts relish the beautiful vistas and deadly beauty they find themselves amongst. This is very much Sandra Bullock’s film.”

THR: “At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space.

An elegant film that will have buffs and casual fans alike gaping and wondering, “How did they do that?” “

The Telegraph: “Bullock is the undoubted star and is seriously good here, giving Stone an inner steeliness that only the very deepest pangs of despair can unsheathe. Comparisons to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi are inevitable and well-earned.”

Empire: “Now that the embargo is up, I can say that what Jaws did for water, Gravity does for air. What surprised me was how much of an action flick Gravity is. Non-stop, no-nonsense. It's Speed in space. Hugely entertaining.”

The Guardian: “Gravity provides an assured curtain-raiser. It comes blowing in from the ether like some weightless black nightmare, Clooney and Bullock give dogged, decent performances here, but they are inevitably shouting to be heard; utterly at the mercy of forces beyond their control.”

MIXED

The Independent: “A visual triumph even if its storytelling is less than sure-footed. The one problem with Gravity is that the plotting never quite matches its visual imagination. Even so, this is a film that, at its best, really does induce a sense of wonder.”

The Times UK: “a seat-chewingly tense, virtuoso 90 minutes of cinema. Bullock and Clooney terrific. A tad heavy on sentimentality.”

This article is related to: Reviews, Review, Venice Film Festival, Venice, Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron, George Clooney, George Clooney, George Clooney, Sandra Bullock


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