'Gravity' opens with a 17-minute uninterrupted take that consists of the entire first act of the film. The audience is introduced to the setting - a gorgeous rendition of low-orbit that would be breathtaking if the suspense of the film hadn't already made it hard to breathe - the characters - a charismatic Sandra Bullock and George Clooney trading on the cache of their movie star personas to bypass lengthy character intros - and the central conflict in the film - a slew of debris rapidly circling the Earth every 90 minutes and threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem we've set up in the harsh realities of space.
The rest of the film adheres to the same philosophy; give the audience the bare minimum they need to enjoy the ride and the central metaphor, and let the film carry them away. It's cinema of simplicity and is just as tense and nail-biting as Hitchcock's classic thrillers.

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