Gravityis a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed, co-written, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón . It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts , and sees them stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their space shuttle and their subsequent attempt to return to Earth.
Cuarón wrote the screenplay with his son Jonás and attempted to develop the film at Universal Pictures . The rights were sold to Warner Bros. Pictures , where the project eventually found traction. David Heyman , who previously worked with Cuarón onHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(2004), produced the film with him.Gravitywas produced entirely in the UK, where the British visual effects company Framestore spent more than three years creating most of the film's visual effects, which comprise over 80 of its 91 minutes.
Gravityopened the 70th Venice International Film Festival on 28 August 2013 and had its North American premiere three days later at the Telluride Film Festival . It was released to cinemas in the United States and Canada on 4 October 2013. The film was met with near-universal acclaim from critics, who praised Emmanuel Lubezki 's cinematography, Steven Price 's musical score, Cuarón's direction, Bullock's performance and Framestore 's visual effects. It has grossed more thanUS$716 millionworldwide, making it the eighth-highest-grossing film of 2013 .
At the 86th Academy Awards ,Gravityreceived a leading ten nominations—tying withAmerican Hustle(2013)—and won seven, the most for the ceremony, including Best Director for Cuarón, Best Cinematography for Lubezki, Best Visual Effects , and Best Original Score for Price. The film was also awarded six BAFTA Awards , including Outstanding British Film and Best Director , the Golden Globe Award for Best Director , and seven Critics Choice Awards .
Dr. Ryan Stone is a biomedical engineer aboard the NASA space shuttleExplorerfor her first space mission, STS -157. Veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski is commanding his final mission. During a spacewalk to service the Hubble Space Telescope and Stone's upgrades to the Telescope, Mission Control in Houston warns the team about a Russian missile strike on a defunct satellite , which has inadvertently caused a chain reaction forming a cloud of debris in space. Mission Control orders that the mission be aborted and the shuttle begin re-entry immediately because the debris is speeding towards the telescope. Communication with Mission Control is lost shortly thereafter.
High-speed debris from the Russian satellite strikes theExplorerand Hubble, detaching Stone from the shuttle and leaving her tumbling through space. Kowalski, using a manned maneuvering unit (MMU), recovers Stone and they return to theExplorer. They discover that it has suffered catastrophic damage and the rest of the crew is dead. They use the MMU to reach the International Space Station (ISS), which is in orbit about 1,450 km (900 mi) away. Kowalski estimates they have 90 minutes before the debris field completes an orbit and threatens them again.
En route to the ISS, the two discuss Stone's home life and the death of her young daughter. As they approach the substantially damaged but still operational ISS, they see its crew has evacuated in one of its two Soyuz modules. The parachute of the remaining Soyuz has deployed, rendering the capsule useless for returning to Earth. Kowalski suggests using it to travel to the nearby Chinese space stationTiangong, 100 km (60 mi) away, in order to board a Chinese module to return safely to Earth. Out of air and maneuvering power, the two try to grab onto the ISS as they fly by. Stone's leg gets entangled in Soyuz's parachute cords and she grabs a strap on Kowalski's suit. Despite Stone's protests, Kowalski detaches himself from the tether to save her from drifting away with him, and she is pulled back towards the ISS while Kowalski floats away to certain death. He continues to support her until he is out of communications reach.
Stone enters the ISS via an airlock . She cannot re-establish communication with Kowalski and concludes that she is the sole survivor. A fire breaks out, forcing her to rush to the Soyuz. As she maneuvers the capsule away from the ISS, the tangled parachute tethers prevent it from separating from the station. She spacewalks to release the cables, succeeding just as the debris field completes its orbit and destroys the station. Stone aligns the Soyuz withTiangongbut discovers that its engine has no fuel.
After a poignant radio communication with a foreign-speaking fisherman on Earth, Stone resigns herself to being stranded and shuts down the cabin's oxygen supply to commit suicide. As she begins to lose consciousness, Kowalski enters the capsule. Scolding her for giving up, he tells her to rig the Soyuz's landing rockets to propel the capsule towardTiangong. Stone then realizes that Kowalski's reappearance was not real, but has nonetheless given her the strength of will to continue. She restores the flow of oxygen and uses the landing rockets to navigate towardTiangong, which is rapidly deorbiting .
Unable to maneuver the Soyuz to dock with the station, Stone ejects herself via explosive decompression and uses a fire extinguisher as a makeshift thruster to travel the final meters toTiangong.Stone enters the Shenzhou capsule just asTiangongstarts to break up on the upper edge of the atmosphere . Stone radios that she is ready to head back to Earth. After re-entering the atmosphere, Stone hears Mission Control, which is tracking the capsule.
After speeding through the atmosphere, the capsule lands in a lake , but dense smoke from an electrical fire inside the capsule forces Stone to evacuate immediately as it starts sinking. She opens the capsule hatch, allowing water to enter and sink it, forcing Stone to shed her spacesuit and swim ashore. She watches the remains of theTiangongre-enter the atmosphere and takes her first shaky steps on land.