Gravity

 

Warner Bros

 

Rating: PG-13

 

Reason for the Rating: Intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and brief strong language

 

Plot Summary: While out on a space walk, the crew of the Space Shuttle is hit with debris and set adrift in space

 

PopFam Recommends: Leave the kids at home...but this is a great date movie.

 

Who knew that a movie about someone drifting in space could be so interesting and captivating. Truthfully, the trailer didn't especially draw me in...how attention-grabbing can a trailer be when there really isn't much action or dialogue? My first clue should have been Sandra Bullock. My second clue should have been George Clooney. These two actors aren't known for being involved with anything less than excellent, so why I questioned the brilliance of this movie is beyond me.

 

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is on her first space mission. While she and fellow astronaut Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are out on a space walk, the Space Shuttle is hit with debris from a Russian satellite, which effectively throws Dr. Stone away from the Shuttle and spinning into space. Alone. Terrifying. Playing the hero again, George Clooney, uh, rather Kowalski, uses his jet pack to locate her and bring her back. What they find upon returning to the Shuttle, is a Shuttle gutted and completely ruined. Oh, and all their crewmates are dead. Isn't space fun?

 

Kowalski and Stone have approximately 90 minutes to find a safe place before the debris circles the earth and hits again. Eyeing the space station, they set off in an attempt to reach the it within the allotted time. While on their journey, Kowalski attempts to lighten the mood, and begins prodding Dr. Stone for information about her life. Where are you from? Do you have any family? It's this little bit of information that forms all we will know of her.

 

So why is this movie so captivating? The depth of character development isn't impressive. During most of the movie the dialogue is non-existent. It's a monologue really. There isn't a twisting, turning plot the audience must attempt to follow. It's actually pretty simple: Disaster in space! How will the astronaut return to earth? Certainly nothing like Apollo 13, another movie with a similar idea, but with a full cast and twisting plotline. Gravity isn't about all that. It's about the simple human desire to live. To connect and be in contact with other humans.

 

I do find it interesting that the title, Gravity, suggests being tethered. Grounded. Connected to something or someone. It is, after all, the thing that holds us to Earth. Yet, the real journey Dr. Stone is on takes her to a place of release. Untethering herself from a sadness that has haunted her for years. Laying it behind her so she can choose to live. It's an interesting contrast that is emphasized in several ways throughout the movie.

 

I could say, "See this movie" simply because I'm a Sandra Bullock fan, but really the beauty of Gravity goes far beyond that one fact. It's unusual and unique. It's unexpected. The silence is eerie, the cinematography is stunning, and it's just unlike any movie you've ever seen. It's a great date night movie. Leave the kids at home and watch something that will follow you out the door and into the rest of your night. You won't be disappointed.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:

 

• In the Gravity, Kowalski helps Ryan untether from a painful experience in her past. When have you had the experience of letting something go and finding a renewed sense of life?

 

• Ryan didn't believe in God. She didn't know how to pray...she'd never been taught how. What is it that sees you through difficult times? Who taught you?

 

• How might this story have been different if Ryan had believed in God?

 

--JW

 

Tags: Gravity,Sandra Bullock,George Clooney,Ryan Stone,Matt Kowalski,Alfonso Cuaron,Oscar,Academy Awards

 

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