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Gravity earns rave reviews ahead of opening Venice Film Festival


Story by Jack Foley

ALFONSO Cuaron’s space thriller Gravity is earning rave reviews as it prepares to open the Venice Film Festival (2013).

The 3D film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts who are cast into deep space when a debris shower destroys their shuttle.

Leading the fanfare of approval, trade publication Variety said of the film: “…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 big screen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide.”

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, said the film is “thrilling and as close to feeling like you’re in space as most of us will ever be”.

Their critic Todd McCarthy goes on to write: “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.”

Xan Brooks, of The Guardian, was also impressed, stating in his review: “Gravity is a brilliantly tense and involving account of two stricken astronauts; a howl in the wilderness that sucks the breath from your lungs.”

There were a few who found flaws. The Independent, for instance, said the film “is a visual triumph even if its storytelling is less than sure-footed”.

While Derek Malcolm, of the London Evening Standard concurred, saying that it’s “visually spectacular despite a thin plot”.

But in the main the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with Empire’s Nick de Semlyen Tweeting: “Now that the embargo is up, I can say that what Jaws did for water, Gravity does for air.”

In Venice, Clooney, Bullock and Cuaron will attend a press conference for the film before attending its gala screening at the festival’s Palazzo del Cinema.

The premiere will kick off 11 days of screenings and parties as the Italian festival celebrates its 70th edition.

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