I loved almost everything about Gravity. It’s one of the most nailbitingly intense movies I’ve ever seen. From the opening moments of a somewhat mundane spacewalk through the harrowing events that follow a debris cloud being unleashed on the astronauts, to the final more quiet moments, this movie rarely lets up on the action.

Sandra Bullock is very convincing as the startlingly named Ryan, a bit of a fish out of water in space to install her own project on the Hubble. She made me nervous with her jangly nerves, struggling to get her equipment to work…and that was before the Russians exploded one of their satellites causing what amounted to a gazillion debris bombs to wreak havoc on the astronauts’ shuttle, the Hubble, and pretty much everything in orbit with them.

Once she becomes detached from the shuttle, it’s a race against time to save her life. With only Ryan and very good looking and charming veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski left alive, the situation exacerbates until she’s alone and literally lost in space. George Clooney is excellent as Kowalski, who imparts a cool headed dose of calm into a terrifying ordeal.

Until there is one.

When Ryan is left alone to save herself, things get a bit eyerolly. One more, one more, one more impossible obstacle hit her like a glitchy lifesize game of Asteroids. By the time she manages to extract herself from a flooding capsule and then sinks into the ocean…(but wait!)…only to make like a skinny Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure and rescue herself yet again, my disbelief has forsaken suspension to hang by a thread with the fragility of a spiderweb. I managed to restrain myself, and did not scream REALLY?!? at my TV. Sotto voce is not a scream, no matter how forceful a person’s subvocal abilities may be.

Other than that one yank-me-out-of-the-story problem, I really did love Gravity. It’s a visually gorgeous, beautifully
acted thrill ride that will send science nerds over the moon…and true scientists into hyperspeed critical mode going by the way Twitter blew up once people started seeing it. It’s different enough to feel innovative, yet filled with references with which we’re all familiar.

The two most vivid reminders I came away from watching it with were: 1) Space, even close to home, is beautiful beyond compare. 2) Space is not our native environment. It is infinitely dangerous, with perhaps its greatest danger bring that very beauty, its deceptive silence like a lullaby that masks the monsters under the bed that awaken in an instant and are relentless. We need both reminders as we spin through it, trusting to our protectors to keep us almost obliviously safe. Protectors like our precious atmosphere and the gravity we unconsciously trust every minute of our lives to keep us safe.

Gravity Official Main Trailer