“If you start thinking you will make a masterpiece, you will never get it,” he says. “A masterpiece is a consequence. It just happens. And I think Alfonso did something coming from the circumstances he was in and his shrewdness. The first 30 minutes of the film have a beauty and power, because it is not only about space physically, but it’s about the interior space, and that dance of the two.”
— Alejandro González Iñárritu, Vulture
Cameron says Bullock’s work is more impressive than the technology that supported it. “She’s the one that had to take on this unbelievable challenge to perform it. (It was) probably no less demanding than a Cirque du Soleil performer, from what I can see.” And of the result, he says, “There’s an art to that, to creating moments that seem spontaneous but are very highly rehearsed and choreographed. Not too many people can do it. … I think it’s really important for people in Hollywood to understand what was accomplished here.”
— James Cameron, Variety
Like many dreams of seizing intensity, this one is both deliriously beautiful and charged with primal fear—not just fear of falling, but of hurtling up, spinning out, breaking loose from our planet’s embrace.
We feel awe from the start. The film opens with a 12-minute sequence of seamless action in which Matt, Ryan, the giant telescope and the shuttle that brought them there float serenely above a vast, floating Earth until all hell suddenly breaks loose in the form of space debris. Newtonian laws of motion still apply in the maelstrom that ensues; the lawbreaker is the camera. It moves as no movie camera has done before—so fluidly that its loops and glides transgress boundaries and film conventions. At one point it closes in on Ryan, then penetrates her helmet, without pausing at the visor, to study the stark terror on her face.
— Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal