this looks like an Oscar contender if ever I saw one. Alfonso Cuaron, the Mexican director of Children Of Men and Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban, has made a science fiction drama that is as visually ravishing as it is quietly, deeply, moving.
It is just another day at the office for Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and commander Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), albeit their office is 600 km above earth and they are, to paraphrase a certain song, floating around the outside of their tin can, taking data from the craft. It is Kowalski's last mission, Stone's first.
At first, their problems are of the mundane sort - a colleague who likes country and western, a new girl not used to taking orders. In the blink of a computer eye, however, all that small stuff is going to be put into perspective.
In defiance of its title, Cuaron's picture does not like to be tied down to just the one genre. It is at once a thriller (the 3D action sequences are stunning), a western (space truly is the final frontier) and a human drama about love and learning one's place in the universe.
Clooney does not have too much of a stretch to play the charming Kowalski, but he delivers a flawless turn neverthetheless. The picture belongs to Bullock though, as the newbie about to go on the steepest learning curve of her life, with Cuaron never letting the tension up for a minute. Enjoy the ride.
General release from November 8