At long last, Alfonso Cuaron's intense space odyssey "Gravity" has been seen, having opened the Venice Film Festival earlier this morning where stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney brought the Hollywood star power to the event's 70th edition. Aside from the A-list trappings, though, word from the Lido has been resoundingly enthusiastic for the flick, which sees Bullock and Clooney as two astronauts left hovering in orbit after their spaceship is destroyed by debris. Sighting the virtuoso technical work as well as the strong performances, fans can let out a sigh of relief that the film will seemingly be worth the wait. Following its Venice kickoff, "Gravity" will also play at Telluride and Toronto before hitting stateside theaters on October 4.
Check out what the critics have to say below.
Matt Mueller, Thompson on Hollywood: "There's too much superlative craft, ambition and intelligence on display for 'Gravity' not to feature prominently in awards-season discussions, with Bullock furnishing a film that was crafted predominantly on hard drives the human touch it needs to reach earthbound audiences."
Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist: "The film’s technically perfect, of course, from the terrific sound design to the impeccable effects (the exact extent of the CGI is difficult to say, because pretty much everything looks photo-realistic, even when things head indoors). But it’s also cleverly written, and more than anything phenomenally directed, from the way that he uses every available surface to tell his story (someone’s going to write a book one day on the use of reflections in this film) to the way he and Lubezki shift the light to vary the color palette, preventing it from becoming repetitive."
Justin Chang, Variety: "Suspending viewers alongside Bullock for a taut, transporting 91 minutes (with George Clooney in a sly supporting turn), the director’s long-overdue follow-up to 'Children of Men' is at once a nervy experiment in blockbuster minimalism and a film of robust movie-movie thrills, restoring a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the bigscreen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide."
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter: "At once the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space, Gravity is a thrillingly realized survival story spiked with interludes of breath-catching tension and startling surprise. Not at all a science fiction film in the conventional sense, Alfonso Cuaron's first feature in seven years has no aliens, space ship battles or dystopian societies, just the intimate spectacle of a man and a woman trying to cope in the most hostile possible environment across a very tight 90 minutes."
Guy Lodge. HitFix: "Effortlessly sympathetic and resolute even when cocooned to the point of invisibility in a spacesuit, Sandra Bullock puts her impressively restrained performance to the fore just when the film needs her to, without straying from the character’s slightly dour vulnerability or succumbing to focus-pulling bravado; it’s a role that at once requires a movie star, and requires her not to be one."
Mark Adams, Screen Daily: "The film is littered with spectacular visual moments as Alfonso Cuaron (working from a script written by himself and son Jonas) mixes almost balletic, spiraling, scenes as space craft are torn apart and mere humans in delicate space suits are thrown into the void with moments of quiet beauty as they the two intrepid astronauts relish the beautiful vistas and deadly beauty they find themselves amongst."