DRAMA; 1hr 31min
STARRING: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Mission: Apparently Impossible: Bullock
The opening moments of Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón’s uncanny chiller, co-written with his son Jonás, grimly note that “Life in space is impossible.” And yet, men and women are out there right now, attempting to make sense of the vastly unknowable.
For neophyte astronaut Dr Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Mission Commander Matt Kowalski (Clooney), the unfathomable becomes reality when their Space Shuttle Explorer mission is hurled into anarchy by an onslaught of debris. Tethered to each other, alone in an alien expanse, the two sole survivors have no choice but to abandon their ruined ship and head towards a distant space station. Far below them, as serene as a cruel mirage, lies a seemingly unattainable Earth.
Ingeniously lit and shot with a combination of live action, rigs, computer animation and CGI, the cinematography is ethereal and thrilling with the deadly, pin-drop-silent limbo of space paring Ryan and Kowalski down to their inherent selves. Bullock, who bears the brunt of the ordeal, does valiant and moving work as a bruised woman unmoored on the furthest margins of endurance, fighting her limits to find her way.