Following in the footsteps of one of the most competitive cinematic years in recent memory was always going to be a tough task, but 2013 showed a lot of promise with its big budget headliners and artistic endeavours. It began strongly as many awards season winners arrived from overseas to cash in on their Oscar-glory, but as summer arrived fewer and fewer of the year’s biggest releases managed to hit their mark and it wasn’t until autumn where a succession of fresh contenders emerged.
A new star child is born
Science fiction films, like any form of mainstream storytelling, typically hinge on humanity’s struggle against an antagonist, whether it’s an alien species, self conscious technology or earthbound asteroid. Powered by his ambition to deliver the most lifelike presentation of what it’s like begin in space, Alfonso Cuarón substitutes a tangible antagonist for a minimalist focus on the isolation, emptiness and natural dangers that occur within such an inhabitable space. It’s immediately clear that Cuarón’s daring enterprise is a rare breed, but this is only one of the elements that sets Gravity apart from the vast majority of others.