When I first saw the trailers for “Gravity,” I knew that this was one movie that I was definitely going to see at the theater. It took three weeks, but I finally found time this past Tuesday to watch the number one movie at the Box Office. As an added benefit, I was able to take the entire family to see “Gravity” while we were in Albuquerque for the annual meeting of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico earlier this week.
Contrary to what my wife might think (or tell you), the main reason that I wanted to see “Gravity” was not because of Sandra Bullock. For full disclosure (which Brenda already knows full well), I like Ms. Bullock. As an actress. That’s all. And, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Of course, it didn’t hurt the movie that Sandra Bullock was the star. Or, at least one of the stars of this majestically made movie. Alfonso Cuarón directed and wrote (along with his son, Jonás Cuarón) a mesmerizingly and masterfully work that holds the viewer (or at least should hold the viewer) from beginning to end.
Bullock was apparently not even in the top five choices for the role of Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer on her first trip to space. Inexplicably, the role of Ryan Stone was originally written for Angelina Jolie. I say inexplicably because I cannot fathom Jolie in this role. Nor, after watching the film, can I envision how Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson (who were both reportedly offered the role) could have pulled off this character. Needless to say, “Gravity” would have fallen like a rock at the Box Office had some of these actresses (particularly Johansson) become attached to the project. And yes, my Sandra Bullock bias is showing, but I am still speaking the truth.
Without giving away the plot, Dr. Stone (Bullock) finds herself in a harrowing situation after unexpected catastrophic events radically impact (in more ways that one) the Space Shuttle’s mission to fix the Hubble Telescope. In a taut 91 minutes, “Gravity” allows the view to not just watch — but to experience — the journey of a lifetime for Ryan Stone. Bullock’s performance cannot be overstated. She is convincing and believable as an engineer, astronaut, and mother. While she will not likely be considered for an Oscar, Bullock’s acting makes “Gravity” a must-see movie. I’m not sure there are too many other actresses (and certainly not the ones mentioned earlier) who could have clothed themselves in the role of Ryan Stone as easily as the character (and Bullock) put on her space suit.
George Clooney, who shares top billing with Ms. Bullock, was well-cast in the role of Matt Kowalski, a veteran astronaut who was on his last space mission before retirement. Clooney has a way of infusing his characters with a likability factor that makes you want to root for him (yes, even despite the actor’s real-life political leanings). Throughout his time on-screen, Clooney’s Astronaut Kowalski was serious, funny, poignant, endearing, and memorable. If you were lost in space, I suspect that you would want to have a Matt Kowalski on your team instead of a Zachary Smith.
This is a movie about space. But, it is like no other space movie that I have ever seen. The cinematography and special effects are so well-done (that’s an understatement) that the viewer seems to be watching the events as if they were really filmed in space. For this movie, I would recommend paying the extra to watch it in 3-D. You will not be disappointed. The views of earth are breathtaking. The silence of space is frightening. The majesty of it all is a thing of wonder.
While we should not worship that which is created, watching the beautifully crafted scenes in “Gravity” can’t help but make one wonder. Wonder how this movie was made. Wonder what it would be like to go into outer space. Wonder what it would be like to be alone. Wonder at the creation. Wonder how the universe just happened. Wonder if there is a Creator behind it all.
When I watched “Gravity,” I couldn’t help but think of that Creator. The One who spoke the world and the universe into existence. The One who holds the world and the universe together. It is the creation that speaks of Him:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them,
and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19:1-6, ESV)
“Gravity” can be seen as just a movie about space. Or, it can be viewed as a film that reminds one of the glory of God and how His creation proclaims His handiwork. As majestic a movie as “Gravity” is, nothing can compare to God’s majesty. I highly recommend that you not miss seeing “Gravity.” However, don’t miss seeing God’s majesty while you’re at it!