Zero Gravity

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.

2013_gravity_movie-wide copy

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?


  1. says

    I’m glad you made it back. It can get scary out there.
    And best of all, you are thoughtful and mindful about it, and kind enough to share.
    Among many other things today, that makes me smile.
    Welcome back.

  2. says

    Great commentary on Gravity! I was blown away by that movie and also drew some pretty intense connections between it and my own life… I’m glad you’ve pulled a Sandra Bullock and fought to get back home though!

  3. says

    I’ve had quite a few of those falls myself, and I’m always grateful when I make my way safely back with my feet on the ground. 😉
    Happy to hear such a great review! Absolutely dying to see it!!

  4. says

    Yes, to all of this. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The silence was stunning and beautiful to the ear. I did hear Neal DeGrasse Tyson wonder aloud why a medical doctor would find herself in space working on a communication/computer issue, which bothered me as well. Filmmakers often feel the need to pave a shortcut to our empathy, and the cliched doctor role seemed a bit like that to me. I would have preferred her career to be more realistic; it wouldn’t have made her less likeable or vulnerable to me.

    That small quibble aside, I did love the full-body sensation of Gravity and will probably see it again at home with the family.


    • says

      Yes, I agree. The whole Dr thing sat oddly with me as well, not to mention the seemingly minuscule amount of training she had to get up there! But I was happy to forgive them that, since they took me on such a brilliant ride. So glad I saw it on the big screen xo

  5. says

    I hope to see the film before it leaves our area. So glad you are safely back on terra firma and are once again enjoying life. Great review and illustration for what you have experienced this year. It sounds like you are well grounded now. 🙂

  6. says

    Between the unknown problem, and the answers to what ails us, grafts the communicator, the doctor, for without communication, many problems would still exist to be resolved through some magical osmosis that may never arrive. Today’s smile, just 7 days until holidays, a whole month of drifting, wandering in the brave world 🙂

    • says

      Dear Sean, I think you’ve just answered our quandary about the doc! Hadn’t even occurred to me the symbolism of having a doctor in space, but that makes a whole lot of sense, now that you mention it. Wish you a fabulous holiday traversing… 🙂

  7. says

    You’ve made me want to see a film about space.. after 2001 never wanted to see another ( was it 2001, has my memory decieved me? )
    Sorry to hear about your rough ride., but glad you ‘re back on track and can see it for what it was – clever girl…

    • says

      Do I understand from your comment that 2001: Space Odyssey wasn’t to your liking? (Yes, that’s the one – hard to believe that was the future once!). It was a trippy film, that’s for sure – this one is far more realistic and Now. Love to know your thoughts if you get there… xox

      • says

        Alarna I saw it in 1969, the month after my first marriage broke up… I don’t think I was in the right space to enjoy anything, and my memory of it was a sense of boredom… the future seemed so cold and bleak from my reading of the film!!! I might feel differently now..My mind might even be a bit more open !!!! Love Valerie.

  8. says

    Hi Alarna…I have yet to see this movie. Beautiful post. I know what you mean about feeling untethered. It is a scarey and lonely place. I am happy to hear that you feel you are back on the ground again. With light and love from the other side of the planet. Kim

  9. says

    I cried all the way home after seeing Gravity. My reaction was made up of a few things, but a lot of it had to do with that moment when she switched everything off. Like you wrote, “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.” I’ve drifted to that place many times, and I think a part of my emotional reaction was feeling guilty about that. Then relief. There’s peace in knowing that this is a very human response. Thanks, Alarna. 🙂

    • says

      Dear Coleen, my heart breaks a little for you, reading this comment. You’ve certainly had some tough challenges thrown your way…no one could blame you for wanting an escape. I guarantee we’ve all been there at some point. Take it easy, Coleen. Know you have a friend here – in space, half a planet away isn’t so far after all 😉 *hugs*

    • says

      Haha! Well, with 3D and the big screen, as Averil was saying, it really is a full body experience. I’d suggest you either take a paper bag… or else wait and watch it on TV at home, where you can be less immersed 🙂

  10. says

    Alarna that sound like a really interesting movie. I’m not into science fiction movies usually but it sound that there is another dimension to that movie. Really intriguing… I must check it out.

  11. says

    I haven’t seen it, but this has been a convincing review. It’s true about movies being expensive with babysitting on top of it all. I did see Catching Fire (with a friend) and Frozen (with the kids) last week, but otherwise have not seen anything in ages.

    • says

      It boggles my mind how much more expensive everything is once you add kids! I’d be interested in your thoughts on Catching Fire… I’m in two minds about that since the first Hunger Games.

  12. says

    Well if you gotta go space the final frontier, who better to pull you there but the awesome Sandra Bullock! We’ve been dying to know what this movie is about Alarna, so thank you for the inside information. It’s one of the few movies that really doesn’t give you a whole lot in the trailer as if they’re doing their best to keep it secret. But I just wasn’t sure if they considered the fact that an audience needs to be lured by something other than an actors/actresses name. You make it sound exciting and now that we have an idea what it’s about, we’re eager to run to the theater & see it.
    As for us, we’ve been floating around, looking for a landing strip for years. Just not sure if we like the idea of coming back just yet. Still too much space to investigate & too many adventures to discover! Excellent post my dear, sharing now.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing! I know what you mean about the trailer and the big names… In this instance, I wonder if they held back on telling more because it’s a movie that really has to be experienced? I mean, there is a plot, but it is much more than that…you just gotta go for the ride! Having said that, float as long as you need, ladies…space is good that way 🙂

  13. says

    Hi Alarna! How’s my cyber-daughter? I want to see this movie, but only get to the movies a few times a year. Maybe during the Christmas break, hubby and I can go see this. I want to see the new Hunger Games movie, too.

    I just tried to send you an email, and I typed up a test email to see if I had the right email address for you, but I guess I don’t because I got a failure notice. I can send you a message on FB. Am overwhelmed more than ever right now. Crazy, insane, and wacky! Thank you so much for the tweet last week. I haven’t been on Twitter in forever. I’m hoping to get back in the swing of blogging in January. We’ll see…

    Take care!

    • says

      Hi Lynn, so lovely to hear from you. I’m sorry about the email – not sure what address you have, but I’ll see if I can send you one instead. It’s been a bit of a crazy year all round, from the sound of it – and I hear you are having another grandchild on the way! Wow! I hope you do get some downtime over the break…just for you and hubby! Lots of love to you…will write. xox

  14. says

    “In space, there’s no room for regret” — that’s a slogan on par with the epic “in space, no one can hear you scream.” It also gives me the incentive to go into space one day, because I think not having time to regret anything would do wonders for my wellbeing. 🙂

  15. says

    “But we have a job to do, beings who need us and a story no one else can tell.” 🙂

    hey, hope the Yuletide season was kind to you and 2014 will be a productive and better year, ahaha, for us all… 🙂 hello, Alarna, hope you’re keeping well. 🙂

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