The space movie “Gravity” will provide a huge splashdown at next month’s 86th Academy Awards on March 2.  With 10 Academy Award nominations, including the big three for Best Picture, Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron) and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Sandra Bullock), look for “Gravity” to bring favorites “American Hustle” and “12 Years a Slave” back to Earth on Oscar Night. Director Cuaron stands an excellent chance to win for Best Director giving his film an outside shot at Best Picture.

“Gravity” stars Sandra Bullock as a NASA novice stranded in space opposite cool-headed, astronaut vet George Clooney. Bullock’s ill-prepared, often annoying Mission Specialist character, made me initially hope that she’d land on Charlton Heston’s Earth in the year 3978 - complete with apes riding horses and tossing cargo netting around her Lycra shorts.  I downgraded the movie a full letter-grade for the preposterous notion that one of the planet’s smartest brains would completely fold up like the Hubble space telescope at the first inkling of trouble.

The film’s exceptional 3D images and Clooney (who literally carried this picture and Bullock) provide viewers with a remarkable movie that takes place almost completely in outer space - no shots from planet Earth until the movie’s end.  The only voices heard aside from the astronauts in outer space are of Mission Control’s Ed Harris and a Ham radio operator.  I found the film’s most powerful scenes were from the zero gravity, resulting in complete silence inside the theater.  Viewers should try to catch ‘Gravity’ on the big screen to get the most bang for your buck; during several scenes you’ll find yourself oblivious to the characters while mesmerized by Earth and flying space objects.

Grade: B+

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