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Film & DVD

'Gravity' is breathtaking

Film about space might be the most thrilling and unbearably stressful movie you’ve ever seen in a theater

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Bullock, who is front and center for most of the movie, delivers the emotional and physical goods as a woman who has nothing to live for fighting to survive. Saddled with a maudlin dead-child back story, she sells the script’s hokier moments in an impressively restrained performance. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that it’s essentially a one-woman show played against an empty green-screen.

Clooney’s calmly sarcastic and self-deprecating commander, on the other hand, plays directly into the actor’s laid-back charms. He’s amusing and reassuring in equal doses – exactly the guy you want yapping in your ear piece as you float helplessly through space.

As an instance of populist filmmaking, Gravity is as good as it gets; teeth-clenchingly intense and gloriously immersive. But as an instance of art, the conventionality of its spiritual aspirations deny it of true classic status (The Life Of Pi had similar shortcomings). Nevertheless, I defy anyone to deny the gut-wrenching impact of its weightless action sequences or the visceral profundity of its earthbound final moments. Cuarón demonstrates that cellphone screens and tricked out home theaters are no match for his big screen artistry.

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