Gravity (movie)

Gravity , or Gravity inQuebec, is anAmerican-Britishspaceadventure filmwritten, produced, directed and edited byAlfonso Cuarón, released in2013.

The commander of the US Space Shuttle Explorer , Matt Kowalski ( George Clooney ) and the astronaut scientist Ryan Stone ( Sandra Bullock ), the only survivors of a space mission intended to repair the space telescope Hubble , trying to return to Earth in regaining first the International Space Station .

In 2014 , the film won seven Oscars, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón .


The space shuttle Explorer performs a maintenance task on the spatial telescope Hubble (STS-157 mission). Three astronauts are in space doing work on the telescope moored in the shuttle’s cargo bay when the Houston Space Center informs the crew that a Russian satellite has been destroyed by a missile, spawning a cloud of space debris . At first glance, debris is multiplied by a chain reaction ( Kessler syndrome) and some of them are heading straight for the astronauts. They are preparing to return to the space shuttle. But it’s too late, the debris is on them. Astronaut Ryan Stone, who was moored to the remote control arm of the shuttle, is propelled into space and panic loses sight of the shuttle and his colleagues. Shuttle commander Matt Kowalski, who has also survived and who, unlike his colleague, has a MMU (or a very similar machine) that allows him to move, manages to join. He secures it to him with a cable and, thanks to the propulsion of his MMU, takes him after him to the Space Shuttle. Alas on board, there are no other survivors and the destruction made it unusable.

The only hope seems to be the International Space Station to 100 kilometers away. Matt hopes to return to Earth on a Soyuz shipmoored at the space station. The course in sidereal darkness is an opportunity for an exchange between the two survivors and Ryan tells Matt how she lost her daughter during a trivial accident. Since then, she has been haunted by this tragic destiny. Almost out of oxygen, they arrive at the space station which has also been ravaged by space debris and that its occupants have already evacuated using a first Soyuz. They find that there is only one Soyuz vessel moored, whose parachute was probably deployed as a result of the impact of the debris, making it unusable for a return to Earth. Having exhausted all the fuel of the MMU, astronauts can not reduce their speed too much compared to their target. They must therefore try to curb themselves gripping the passage to the various components of the station. Ryan succeedsin extremis to take his legs in the straps of the parachute. Matt, who was not so fortunate, is only held back by the cable that connects him to Ryan. He understands that if he stays hooked with the cable, his inertia will drag them both into space vacuum. Also, despite the protests of the young woman, he prefers to detach from his colleague. This liberated is found attracted by the station. At the limit of asphyxiation, because having exhausted its reserve of oxygen, she manages to enter the station through an airlock of one of the Russian modules while Matt by radio gives him his final recommendations before disappearing into space .

After having re-pressurized the airlock, got rid of her spacesuit and opened the hatch that communicates with the rest of the station, she goes to the telecommunications station to launch radio calls to her companion who remain without reply. She understands that he must be dead, and resigns himself to calling the Houston Space Center but fails to reach him. On the other hand, a violent fire is on board. He must flee to the Soyuz rescue. The flames spread through the structure, but the heroine manages to escape. Once in the capsule, she focuses on the dashboard that surmounts a small icon representing Saint Christopher, patron of travelers. She fumbles, but manages to trigger the separation maneuver. Unfortunately, the parachute cables hold the ship at the station. Each new impulse of its engines exposes it even to the risk of a collision. Ryan is forced to go out and take it off by hand. But soon comes again the wave of debris that has just made a complete turn of the planet. In a few moments the entire space station is reduced to pieces and shatters in an apocalyptic scene. Ryan, flattened on the Soyuz which undergoes damages, manages miraculously to escape.

It only remains for him to return to the cockpit, but the machine can not ensure his return to Earth, since he lost his parachute. The only solution is to try to reach the Chinese station Tiangong . Fortunately, Ryan was trained to fly the Soyuz. But she discovers that the Soyuz has run out of fuel , probably in the maneuvers made to escape the collision with the station and that she is sentenced to death. She’s still calling Houston for help, but she’s only able to pick up the broadcasts of an amateur radio. She understands that she is in contact with an Inuitnamed after Aninquaaq. Ryan hears the dogs and babbling of a baby who, in his desperate situation, make him miss the simple pleasures of ordinary Terrans. Knowing she’s doomed, she decides to commit suicide by emptying the cockpit of her oxygen .

But we hear a shock. Matt is hitting the window. He activates the handle and enters the cockpit, closes the door and pressurises the cabin. A dialogue commits itself. Matt suggests Ryan use backdropsbrakes implemented immediately prior to landing to replace the unusable propellants without fuel. Ryan turns around. Matt is gone and she realizes it was just a hallucination. She regains her senses and reopens the valves of oxygen. It activates the commands of separation of the two elements of the vessel Soyouz related to the module of descent in which it is, in order to allow the lighting of the retrofuses. It takes a few minutes for the astronaut to reach the Chinese orbital station. She puts on her suit and ejects herself into space as the ship approaches Tiangong Station. Using a fire extinguisher to propel herself, she heads for the Chinese space station and manages to cling to it. She wins the airlock. However, the Chinese station, which has also been affected by the debris cloud, has lost a lot of altitude and is beginning to penetrate the dense layers of the atmosphere. She starts aatmospheric reentry that warms the front sections and gives more and more violent shaking to its structure.

Immediately on board, Ryan heads for the Shenzhou spacecraftwhich is docked at the station. While the station is disintegrating, it settles, focuses on the screens but all captions on the buttons and screens are in Chinese. Fortunately, the ship is of a design very close to the Soyuz and she thus manages to activate it, then it is the atmospheric reentry. Ryan manages to trigger the separation of the ship with the station while it begins to disintegrate. As the capsule enters the atmosphere, it hardly escapes the burning debris. The parachute unfurls, the retrofuses come into action. Finally, the capsule lands in a lake. Radio links with Houston are restored. Ryan, safe and sound, is not out of trouble because an electric fire is coming on board. He must open the hatch but immediately the water rushes into the cockpit. The capsule sinks and lands at the bottom of the lake, fortunately shallow. Ryan succeedsin extremis to extricate themselves. Still he must free himself from his heavy suit. She then joins the surface and from there regains the shore to swim. She realizes that she has come back to life. She says only one word: “Thank you”.

Technical sheet

  • Original title: Gravity
  • Quebec title: Gravity
  • Director: Alfonso Cuarón
  • Script: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón and Rodrigo García
  • Artistic direction: Andy Nicholson
  • Sets: Mark Scruton
  • Costumes: Jany Temime
  • Photography: Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • Music: Steven Price
  • Production: Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman
  • Production Companies: Heyday Films , Reality Media and Warner Bros.
  • Distribution companies: Warner Bros. (United States) and Universal Pictures (United Kingdom)
  • Budget: 100 million to USD 1
  • Country of origin: United States and United Kingdom
  • Original language: English
  • Format: color – ratio 2.39: 1
  • Genre: Space adventure , science fiction , thriller
  • Duration: 91 minutes 1
  • Release dates:
    •  United States :
    •  France :


  • Sandra Bullock (VF: Françoise Cadol ; DV: Helen Mondoux )r Ryan Stone
  • George Clooney (VF: Samuel Labarthe , VQ: Daniel Picard ) : Matt Kowalski
  • Ed Harris (VF: Herve Bellon , VQ: Eric Gaudry ) : Nasa Control Center (voice)
  • Orto Ignatiussen : Aningaaq (voice)
  • Phaldut Sharma (VF: Asil Rais , VQ: Gilbert Lachance ) : Shariff (voice)
  • Amy Warren (VF: Pauline Larrieu , VQ: Mélanie Laberge ) : Captain of the Explorer (voice)
  • Basher Savage : the Russian captain of the space station (voice)
SourceQuebec Version (VQ) on 2


Choice of actors

In , it is revealed that Angelina Jolie is in the running to embody the only survivor in a film directed by Alfonso Cuarón 3 . In, it is announced that it is finally Robert Downey Jr. who will take the main role 4 . In, Scarlett Johansson gives a verbal agreement to participate in the film and give the reply to Robert Downey Jr 5 . However, a month later, it is revealed that Blake Lively is also considered for role 6 . Finally, in, the role is proposed to Natalie Portman 7 . After several months of uncertainty, it is finally Sandra Bullock and George Clooney who are confirmed in the main roles in December 2010 8 . At Comic-Con 2013, a few months before the release of the film, the director returns to the replacement of Robert Downey Jr. by George Clooney: “It was clear that the technology used to shoot Gravity was not the most compatible with the game from Robert. He takes the stage and improvises almost this one. Given the technology we use, it limited it. We had to “pre-program” the film before shooting ” 9 .


During the filming, Sandra Bullock entrusts to the American newspaper USA Today that “Alfonso Cuarón, taking a brilliant decision, said:” “no makeup”. […] Our vain little heads will give on the screen huge images of more than five meters. You’ll see the details, because it’s filmed with this digital image that shows everything. It’s so scary. There are scenes where you say to yourself, “there we must let go, and let God do it”. And, thank God, there are no nude scenes. » 10


The choice of the director of photography and the person in charge of the special effects was to opt for a film entirely in images of synthesis, with incrustation of the images of the faces of the actors. Only two shots were filmed in front of a green screen 11 .

Short film

A short film called Aningaaq offers an earthly point of view of the scene where the astronaut in distress is in radio contact with the earth. This short film, originally intended to appear in the bonus DVD, was presented at the Venice Festival 12 [ref. insufficient] . It was directed by Jonás Cuarón, co-writer of Gravity and son of Alfonso Cuarón 13 [ref. insufficient] .


Realism film

Professionals in the space world have generally praised the realistic nature of the film scenes and the representation of a high fidelity of the different spacecraft. Nevertheless, several deviations from the reality, that the director assumes, enamels the film:

  • Dr. Ryan is a payload specialist who has only completed a 6-month training. Astronauts in this category do not perform extravehicular exits because the practice of this requires a training of several years. A fortiori , a payload specialist is not trained to fly a spacecraft 14 .
  • Realistically, it would take several weeks or even months before the space debris generated even mass are precisely hit where the space shuttle is located 15 .
  • Space debris circulates at a speed of several km / s, that is to say faster than a bullet. The astronauts could not see the approaching 14 .
  • MMU has a low amount of propellant (in fact compressed nitrogen which is expelled and which by action and reaction allows the astronaut to move) allowing only a slight change of speed ( 24 m / s ). His ability would not have allowed him to bring the two astronauts to the space station traveling on a different orbital plane ( tilt ) and at a different altitude 14 , 16. Even the American space shuttle is incapable of such a maneuver when carrying out a maintenance mission of the space telescope, for lack of sufficient propellants. A maneuver of this type also requires a computer to calculate the maneuvers to perform, because contrary to what shows the film, a direct approach does not work, as noted by the pioneers of space during first missions with appointments. The principle of the method to join the other station is to seek the optimal trajectory, to give a pulse in the appropriate direction, and on arrival to give a pulse of opposite direction, the trajectory being elliptical.
  • Violent shocks several times by space suits for astronauts should lead to depressurization and death astronauts 17 .
  • When Kowalski is held in extremis by the cable that connects him to Ryan, she herself is held by the parachute cable to the international space station, the astronaut no longer moves in relation to his colleague and it moves more compared to the space station. Under these conditions just a small force is exerted on Kowalski, due to the tidal force . Once dropped it should stay on the spot and it should be able to float slowly through the cable to Ryan 14. For someone who has basic notions of physics, this scene is implausible, probable solutions existed, for example the rapid rotation of the station on itself, whereas it is represented fixed in relation to the earth in the approach phase. However, if we consider that Ryan and Kowalski are still moving away from the station but braked by the rope, then indeed, once Kowalski dropped, the rope should continue to brake Ryan but Kowalski more, which would keep his speed and would be moving away from Ryan.
  • Under his spacesuit , Ryan wears ordinary underwear. However, astronauts wear a specific underwear incorporating a network of pipes in which circulates water maintained at a constant temperature to face the violent temperature contrasts (several hundreds of degrees) that they undergo in space and evacuate their body heat. Ryan would normally have a diaper imposed by the length of spacewalks 14 .
  • The Chinese space station is starting an atmospheric reentry because it has been hit by space debris that has lowered its altitude. In reality, it would take several months for massive impacts can produce this result 14 .
  • The Soyuz and Shenzhou-like vessels that are designed to land on the mainland have flotation capacity in case they arise in a lake or stream 14 .
  • Extra-spacewalking takes place at an intensive pace. There is no question, as in the film, that two of the three astronauts of the exit have the least free time to engage in acrobatics in space.
  • Kowalski travels at high speed near the space telescope . This maneuver could damage the solar panels would not have been allowed in reality.
  • The movement in space with the MMU is not intuitive and it is difficult to move at the speed with which Kowalski circulates around the space telescope.
  • As Ryan embarks on the Chinese spacecraft Shenzou atmospheric reentry in catastrophic conditions, his helmet floats weightlessly in the cabin. During this phase of the flight, the capsule undergoes a strong deceleration (the gradual dismantling of the Chinese station and the high outside temperature are other indications) and Ryan as his helmet should be pressed against the wall of the ship.
  • The Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station are not on the same orbital plane : the inclination of the two planes is respectively 28 ° 5 and 51.63 °. The orbits described rarely intersect (and in this case with an altitude difference of about 200 km ) but above all the angle that the speed vectors of the machines make is about 23 °. The two spacecraft after cruising move away from each other at approximately 28,000 km / h × sinus (23 °), or approximately at a speed of 12,000 km / h. It is the speed differential that the two heroes of the film would have had to fill to reach the space station during the very fleeting moment when it would have been within their reach.
  • The Earth scrolls in the wrong direction, under the feet of astronauts.


Composed by Steven Price

All songs are written and composed by Steven Price.

o title duration
1. Above Earth 1:50
2. Debris 4:24
3. The Void 6:15
4. Atlantis 3:43
5. Do not Let Go 11:11
6. Airlock 1:57
7. ISS 2:53
8. Fire 2:57
9. Parachute 7:40
10. In the Blind 3:07
11. Aurora Borealis 1:43
12. Aningaaq 5:08
13. Soyuz 1:43
14. Tiangong 6:28
15. Shenzhou 6:11
16. Gravity 4:35

Distinctions and appointments

Reward Dated Category Result
Movie Oscars March 2, 2014 Oscar for the best film music laureate
Alliance of Women Film Journalists December 19, 2013 Best original music Nomination
Awards Circuit Community Awards February 28, 2014 Best original music laureate
British Academy Film Awards February 16, 2014 Best original music laureate
Broadcast Film Critics Association January 16, 2014 Best original music laureate
Central Ohio Film Critics Association January 2, 2014 Best original music Runner-up
Chicago Film Critics Association December 13, 2013 Best original music Nomination
Denver Film Critics Society January 13, 2014 Best original music laureate
Golden Globe Awards January 12, 2014 Best original music Nomination
Grammy Awards February 8, 2015 Best movie music Nomination
Houston Film Critics Society December 15, 2013 Best original music laureate
San Diego Movie Critics Society 11 December 2013 Best original music Nomination
Satellite Awards February 23, 2014 Best original music laureate
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association December 16, 2013 Best original music Nomination
Washington DC Area Movie Critics Association December 9, 2013 Best original music Nomination


Critical reception

Ratings of critics

Cumulative score
Site Note
Metacritic 96/100 18
Rotten Tomatoes 97/100 20
Allociné 19
Compilation of critics
Periodic Note

The film is well received by the public since its average rating on the Internet Movie Database is 7.9 / 10 for a little over 500 000 voters . Similarly, he obtained a score of 4/5 on Allociné , and 7.3 / 10 on SensCritique .

Positive reviews

  • Cahiers du Cinéma by Mathieu Macheret: “The great show revives here with primitive notions of distance and proximity, impossible cutting and fullness of time, which have always been the substratum of the” realism “of cinematic expression” .
  • First by Gerard Delorme: “3D has rarely been so justified and Cuarón pushes the limits with a technical virtuosity all the more effective that it is totally forgotten . “
  • She by Françoise Delbecq: ” Gravity is a great film, its magic is largely based on the use of 3D which finally finds its justification in the cinema and on the large beaches of silence that make loneliness oppressive” .
  • Liberation by Didier Péron: “minimalist blockbuster signed Mexican Cuarón, new Hollywood hero. The film draws, in the style of a gleaming prototype, an immersive cinema perspective, with an elegant 3D and amniotic soundtrack ” .
  • Rue89 by Eddy Chevalier: “We know that Cuarón fought to impose a woman on the poster of his film so visceral. Because Hollywood did not want it. Beyond the sublime images of another world, his technical mastery and his visual genius, he manages to make the viewer a woman – impossible, indeed, not to identify with Ryan, not to cling at her seat when she can not hold on or gasp when suffocating . “
  • Slate by Jean-Marie Pottier: “The name of the charming and courageous astronaut played by George Clooney may have tinkled in your ear: Matt Kowalski. Kowalski (Stanley) is in fact also the name of the character played by Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire , a play written in 1947 by Tennessee Williams , mounted the stage and adapted to the screen four years later by Elia Kazan ” .

Negative reviews

  • The Express by Éric Libiot notes the film “average” with two out of three stars: “A masterful first hour, truly exciting and distressing … the last part, a sort of easy conclusion in the form of a scenario of series B that makes the breath. This side quickly concluded […] » 21 .
  • Télérama by Louis Guichard: “Alfonso Cuarón […] does not reach the geometric perfection, the sublime hermetism of 2001, the Space Odyssey ( 2001: A Space Odyssey ) of Stanley Kubrick , nor the spiritualism, the nagging metaphysics of Solaris , by Andrei Tarkovski . Compared to these two references, the scenario of Gravity is tiny .
  • The Inrockuptibles by Jacky Goldberg: “preceded by a dithyrambic rumor, crowned by his triumph at the box office , this survival in weightlessness disappoints” 22 .
  • The Huffington Post by Lauren Provost: “The Gravity film should be renamed Angular Momentum ,” says Neil deGrasse Tyson referring to “kinetic moment” (the tendency of a rotating object to continue rotating unless a force intervenes for the slow down or stop it). Why does not Bullock’s hair float freely on his head? Astronaut Clooney informs Dr. Bullock of what is happening medically in the event of oxygen deprivation. “

Box office

Country or region Box Office Box office shutdown date Number of weeks
 United States Canada $ 274,092,705 1 , 23 31
 la France 4,094,466 entries 23 23
 World $ 723,192,705 1

The film had a great success at the box office , ranking in first place when it was released, ahead Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 and Players and raising more than 55 million of dollars in its opening weekend in the States United States and Canada combined 1 .

This is the fourth best start of all time, for a movie released in October in North America , on the date of24 .


Main article: List of Gravity distinctions .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a , b , c , d and e (en) Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on Box Office Mojo (accessed July 4, 2014 ) .
  2. ↑ “sheet of Quebec dubbing the film”  [ archive ] on , accessed January 26, 2014.
  3. ↑ Laetitia Forhan, Vulture, ” Angelina Jolie in Gravity Alfonso Cuarón ”  [ archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  4. ↑ Maximilian Pierrette Deadline New York, ” Robert Downey Jr. in Alfonso Cuaron 3D?  ”  [ Archive ] , on Screenrush, (accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  5. ↑ Laetitia Forhan, Deadline New York , ” Scarlett Johansson in Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  6. ↑ Maximilian Pierrette, ” Scarlett Johansson and Blake Lively for Gravity ”  [ Archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  7. ↑ Maximilian Pierrette, ” Gravity : Natalie Portman lost in space?  ”  [ Archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  8. ↑ Maximilian Pierrette, ” Gravity : Clooney gets into the shuttle!  ”  [ Archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  9. ↑ Laetitia Forhan, ” Robert Downey Jr. ousted Gravity because of technology ”  [ archive ] , on Screenrush ,(accessed July 22, 2013 ) .
  10. ↑ AG, ” Sandra Bullock unvarnished Alfonso Cuarón ”  [ archive ] , on Screenrush , (accessed July 22, 2013) .
  11. ↑ ” When you do something that is unheard of, you have no way of knowing if it is feasible ”  [ archive ] , on Premiè (accessed November 11, 2013 ) .
  12. ↑ [1]  [ archive ] .
  13. ↑ [2]  [ archive ] .
  14. ↑ a , b , c , d , e , f, and g (en) Gwynne Watkins, ” An Astronaut Fact-checks Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on,.
  15. ↑ (en) Jean-Luc Margot, ” How realistic is Gravity ?  ”  [ Archive ] , on ,.
  16. ↑ (in) Lee Hutchinson, ” Poking holes in the Gravity trailer with NASA’s help ”  [ archive ] , on Ars Technica,.
  17. ↑ (in) Lee Hutchinson, ” Poking holes in the Gravity trailer with NASA’s help ”  [ archive ] , on Ars Technica,.
  18. ↑ (in) Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on Metacritic , (accessed November 7, 2013 ) .
  19. ↑ ” Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on Allociné , (accessed November 7, 2013 ) .
  20. ↑ (in) Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on Rotten Tomatoes , (accessed November 7, 2013 ) .
  21. ↑ Eric Libiot, ” Cinema: Gravity ,” L’Express Styles , Vol.  supplement to L’Express ,p.  38.
  22. ↑ Press reviews for the movie Gravity – AlloCiné  [ archive ] .
  23. ↑ a and b Gravity ”  [ archive ] , on JP’s Box Office (accessed July 4, 2014 ) .
  24. ↑ (en); ” alltime weekends month october ”  [ archive ] Accessed October 06, 2013.

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