This newly released film, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, is a very original film. It began with a vast view of Earth seen in space. The calm, silent scenes made it feel like I was watching a documentary on Nova. The pace was slow and the tone was uncertain. We were introduced to the two main characters, Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock and Matt Kowalski, played by George Clooney. Bullock’s character was serious and professional, while Clooney’s brought his familiar easygoing charm and humor that fans can recognize. The film moved quickly when the two space adventurers were told some unfortunate news; debris were heading their way after having destroyed multiple satellites. Communication with their contacts on Earth would be none to minimal from that point onward. As they tried to navigate their way to safety, we learn that there are many challenges within themselves as well as their environment that forces them to face death, survival and ultimately, letting go.
There are many things about this film that I feel inspired by. The acting of Sandra Bullock, the specific shots and the unique story itself. My emotions were spun around just as Ryan Stone was in outer space. After leaving the theaters, I felt creatively sparked and grateful for my life. If there is one new film to see in theaters, this is it.
I have seen a few Sandra Bullock films. Her acting is entertaining, but nothing that blew me away like this one did. It is evident to me that she practices her craft and wants to create meaningful work. She does not seem like she acts solely to make money. Bullock successfully portrayed a character who was at a loss of hope, control and rationale; one who gained the strength to overpower the mental and physical challenges that were presented to her. I sympathized with Stone as she progressed through her hard journey. Time was limited and her life was on the line. It was evident that if she wanted to live, there was no time to be weak.
The shots of this film were specific and well-positioned. From the long ones of them floating away from their station or the close-up of Bullock’s face; these shots smoothly transitioned the path of this story. I understand that some viewers may have found this film to be too long, quiet or uneventful. However, I found the pace to be realistic. The background sound of heartbeats and the minimal noises are probably characteristics of what it feels like to be in space.
I admire this story and how it was portrayed. This was not another triangle love story nor was it a huge explosive action film. It was a film that shed light on the unpredictable and dangerous life of explorers of the unknown. They inspire me to question life and the journey. What holds us back? Why? What is worth living for?