An Acclaimed Sandra Bullock Science Fiction Film Is Trending

By Britta DeVore | Published

sandra bullock

Despite its name, nothing is keeping Gravity tied down. The 2013 sci-fi thriller is climbing its way through the charts on HBO where it’s currently streaming. And it’s no shock as to why. Boasting a star studded lineup that includes the likes of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the Alfonso Cuarón helmed feature is just as thrilling as it is dramatic as a doctor and an astronaut tumble through space on a mission dotted with disaster.

Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a medical engineer who is preparing to see the planet as she never has before – from space. In what will be her first mission, Dr. Stone will be traveling under the supervision of longtime, revered astronaut, Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney) who is on the other side of the space spectrum Having enjoyed a career with NASA spanning many years, Kowalsky is finally getting ready to retire. Only one thing stands between him and his one-way ticket to Margaritaville – this final mission. After a successful launch that saw them safely arriving in space, the duo heads out on a very routine space walk. It’s then that disaster strikes. Suddenly, the shuttle is torn to bits leaving Dr. Stone and Kowalsky stranded in space without any communication or means to get back home. As the situation begins to sink in, the pair has some difficult decisions to make. They can either stay put and await death or move further into the cosmos, risking the same fate, but standing to gain some hope. 

sandra bullock
Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013)

To say the movie is a nailbiter would be an understatement. From the gate, audiences are immediately thrown into the action, quickly becoming just as disassociated as Stone and Kowalsky are as they’re hurled through space. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock’s performances are impeccable as they’re able to convey all the horror felt by their characters during each stomach churning twist and turn. The crew behind the film also did an excellent job, drawing in massive praise for the visual effects and cinematography that made it the success that it was. It quickly cemented itself as one of the most beloved sci-fi flicks of all times and cleaned house at the awards circuit.

At that year’s Academy Awards, Gravity raked in a whopping ten nominations including Best Picture, Best Production Design, and Best Actress for Sandra Bullock. By the end of the night, Cuarón had his hands full of little golden men having nabbed the awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. But the accolades didn’t stop there. The feature would also mopped up at the Golden Globes where it was nominated four times, winning Best Director, and at the British Academy Film Awards where it took home six awards including Outstanding British Film, Best Direction, Best Original Music, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects. 

Many will remember the man behind it all, Alfonso Cuarón as the director backing such hits as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men. He wrote the screenplay for Gravity with his son, Jonás Cuarón, and it was ultimately picked up by Warner Bros. Pictures. As for finding their leading players, the road to discovering exactly who would step into the boots of Dr. Ryan Stone was a rocky one. Other performers such as Angelina Jolie, Marion Cotillard, Blake Lively, Natalie Portman, Abbie Cornish, and Olivia Wilde were considered for the role but none had what production was looking for or had too many scheduling conflicts. Finally, Sandra Bullock landed the leading role in October 2010. As for Clooney, he was chosen almost immediately after the studio’s initial pick, Robert Downey Jr., had to pass due to scheduling issues.  

george clooney
George Clooney in Gravity (2013)

Although the two almost appeared together again in Ocean’s 8, Clooney’s cameo scene was ultimately cut from the film, leaving their only other semi-teamed up project being 2015’s Our Brand is Crisis. While Sandra Bullock starred in the David Gordon Green helmed comedy-drama, George Clooney wasn’t seen on-screen, but signed on as a producer. The flick acted as a dramatized telling of the 2005 documentary of the same and told a fictionalized account of a political based story about the 2002 Bolivian presidential election. Not as big of a hit as Gravity, the film didn’t garner much attention when it initially dropped although Bullock was praised for her performance because, after all, she is Sandra Bullock.