As I watched the Academy Awards recently, I realized I had not seen any of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture. Not one! I believe that might have been a first! I decided to remedy that. My first, therefore, is twofold: watch all nine of the nominated movies and do a review of each film after I’ve seen it. For today’s first, I began this adventure with Gravity.
I was surprised at the number of nominations that Gravity received, including Best Picture. I’d seen a couple of previews and my first impression was that this movie was a space thriller. A couple of big name actors starred in the film, true, but I didn’t see enough to make me head to the theater and I definitely didn’t expect it to receive all the nominations that it did, 10 total. On Oscar night, as I filled in my ballot, I began to just select Gravity in each category it was a contender in. It won seven Oscars, including Best Visual Effects and the big category of Best Director. I was curious now and I had new respect for the film. As the idea formed to view all of the Best Picture nominated movies, I knew Gravity would be the first one I watched.
Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and is directed by Alfonso Cuaron. It’s rated PG-13 and has a run time of 91 minutes.
I enjoyed the movie! It is a fast paced, short film, that had me clasping my hands tightly together as Sandra Bullock’s character, Dr. Ryan Stone, finds herself facing the unimaginable in space. On a routine spacewalk, disaster strikes, leaving Stone and veteran astronaut Kowalsky, played by George Clooney, stranded outside the destroyed space shuttle. I don’t want to include spoilers in these reviews. I will say that the rest of the movie follows Dr. Stone as she fights to survive. It’s not just space that has attempted to defeat her, nor is this the first unimaginable event Ryan has faced in her life.
Gravity is more than a movie about space. It is about what connects us to life, what grounds us to the earth. Tears filled my eyes watching Ryan struggle with the decision to engage or disengage with life. She knew, as did I, that it was not a matter of surviving or not, it was about living, really living. Don’t we all have the same decision to make? Whether we are facing a catastrophic event, or a dullness that has seeped into our souls, we choose whether we will slowly die or truly begin to live. Will we find that which connects us to life and engage, bringing joy and passion and purpose into our lives? I choose to engage! I choose to reach.
You’ll have to watch Gravity to see what Dr. Ryan Stone chooses.