By Brenda W. Clough
As a member of SFWA I got roped in one year to be on the Nebula Film committee. Ever since I have kept an eye on the movies that come out that might possibly be eligible for the award. And I particularly watch for SCIENCE fiction. Fantasy has a total lock on film and needs no additional PR or support — can you say Harry Potter? Avengers? The Hobbit? Yes you can!
OK, so I can report that we can put it away for the 2013 Nebs. As of this writing Gravity surely has a lock. OMG, this is one intense and exciting movie! I have never seen space and space travel rendered better. It is really, really believable, and the creators worked hard to get all the details right. And this is a film where you truly get your full dollar’s worth if you spring for the IMAX 3-D show. Do not see this movie on your laptop! Insist on seeing it in 3-D — it’s just amazing. This is as close as we chairbound desk jockeys are ever going to get to going into space ourselves.
And, Bechdel Test mavens, rejoice! Finally a movie where the protagonist is a woman of courage and competence. She struggles, fails, and struggles again, exactly as (yes!) a male protagonist would. Sandra Bullock is already getting murmurs about an Oscar, and I can believe it. She carries this movie on her back alone, like Atlas with the globe. Sexy George Clooney is grand, but definitely the second banana. People complain that the plot is simplistic, but it does not bother me — (wo)man-against-nature plots necessarily don’t have a lot of elaboration.
My only warning is, this is not a movie for agoraphobes or claustrophobes. Space travel flips from one to the other with regularity, and if you can’t handle it, you’ll need your airsickness bag for this film.
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