It’s not cheap to see a film these days. The last time I saw a movie was on Mother’s Day, when my second mum inexplicably demanded to see Star Trek.
As we sat there watching our money disappear Into Darkness, I think we were all mentally calculating how many seasons of Dexter that movie could have bought us…
Which is probably why we didn’t make it back. Until Gravity.
Being a sucker for space and (guiltily) for Sandra Bullock, I found it impossible to resist. And Wow.
Finally, a film that is NOT so wrapped up in the joys of 3D technology that it forgot to have a plot. No, this is an adult film, a universe apart from Star Trek and Miss Congeniality.
It begins with Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) and Dr Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) free floating in space, as a nauseous Dr Stone works on some undefined space communications problem.
Kowalsky plays up to Clooney’s larrikin reputation, spending all his time distracting Dr Stone with irrelevant chatter. My favourite moment is when he asks her what she likes most about this place. Her answer?
Much to my irritation, the moment was lost on the popcorn munching, iPhone twittering audience, but they were drowned out soon enough as we were taken on a terrifying ride through the sadly grave reality of space junk.
I won’t reveal any more secrets, except to say, if you suffer from claustrophobia, don’t see this film.
What I will say is this.
Gravity is the grown up answer to Star Trek’s endless journey of exploration far from the consequences of what we leave behind. It is the much more difficult journey home.
Earlier this year, I had a kind of inter-galactic collision that took me so far off course I almost couldn’t recognise myself. Lost hold of my tether and was doing somersaults in space.
It’s tempting, in those situations, to switch off the oxygen, pull the plug and drift into oblivion – free to any black hole that will have us.
But we have a job to do, beings who need us and a story no one else can tell.
This film is about that gravitational pull, and the need we all have to be needed. It’s about loss and, in some sense, dealing with the excuses we make for the moments that we fail.
There’s no room in space for excuses or regrets. Just a chain reaction of events to which we inevitably have to respond.
Well, I’ve been there. Done that. And I have no idea what’s going to happen next.
But my feet are firmly back on ground. There’s a smile on my face. I’m home again. At last.
Happy Thanksgiving, astronauts! What’s making you smile today?