Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) is on her first trip into space, mid-way through a spacewalk where she is investigating some issues with a computer system thingy, when disaster strikes. Insurmountable damage occurs to their shuttle, leaving Stone and Kowalski (George Clooney) the only two survivors, trying to find a way back to Earth.
It’s tense from the word go.
As someone who can find herself connecting to characters and really living the experience, the feeling of hopelessness, of being out of control and being in such a totally surreal environment was close to overwhelming. There were certainly aspects of the film that were clearly about manipulating the audience reaction, but I had no issue with that at all. I just wanted them to be home, safe.
The one thing I found it very difficult to get past was Sandra Bullocks zero-gravity-defying hair.
If you are wondering about what life is like in space (and see some pretty awesome hair), there are some amazing clips from the ISS from previous resident Commander Hadfield and more recently, Commander Suni Williams. Once I allowed myself to let go of the hair issue, I really enjoyed the film. It’s crucial that the film is seen in the cinema and in 3D – I think if you did not have the whole experience, it would be just an average suspense, only in space.