Kick-ass cinematography and out-of-this-world star power! But aside from that…
Spoiler alert: There’s very little gravity in this picture. Not by any physicist’s definition, that is. The situation, however, is indeed grave. And it’s entirely plausible. Given the amount of space junk, assorted meteorites, and debris from for-real blown-up satellites zipping around our planet these days, stuff striking shuttles and space stations really isn’t that far-fetched.
Visually, the experience is absolutely stunning. The panorama of stars pricking at the vast blackness; the visceral sensation of looking down at the distant turning Earth; the utter silence of endless space…all so very real.
It doesn’t even qualify as sci-fi since everything you see actually exists. A recent TV interview with a NASA spokesman confirmed that director Alfonso Cuarón realistically captured what it looks like inside and outside of a spacecraft. He did remark that in the interior shots, Bullock’s hair should have been free-floating like everything else.
Veteran astronaut Mark Kelly picked at it a little more. While agreeing that the visual effects were convincingly accurate, and that Bullock and Clooney certainly portrayed the intensity and horror of a fight for survival in space, he says no astronaut would joy ride his MMU (Manned Maneuvering Unit) nor would any of them goof off around a $2.5 billion space telescope of such monumental importance. Fun is kept inside the spacecraft.
It’s my own observation that Dr. Stone (Bullock), after special selection and years of training, would instinctively conserve her precious air supply by NOT gasping and panting and semi-sobbing scene after scene after scene.
But never mind all that. The truth is…I loved it!