The movie, not the force.
The husband and I just watched this movie the other day. Aside from grumbling that it would have been really-fucking-cool to see it in IMAX, I did appreciate having some space from all the “science of Gravity” articles. Otherwise I would have been too busy nitpicking the physics to really enjoy the emotional weight of the story.
Like Castaway, this movie largely relies on the talent and gravitas of one actor, in this case Sandra Bullock. Like Tom Hanks, she delivers. In one scene, Bullock’s character is trying to grasp the enormity and hopelessness of her situation and she allows herself to cry. However, she pulls herself together in short order and gets back to doing what needs to be done. (Who hasn’t done that, in one way or another?) In another scene, Bullock grapples with the idea that she might die, and has an epiphany (“we all die, everyone knows that. But I’m going to die today“). I found that scene particularly human.
For me, the movie tapped into the very real fear of dying alone. (Yes, yes, Firefly fan–I know we all die alone). It also taps into the idea that we are small and insignificant and the world will keep spinning beneath us without so much as a shudder when we go. Those are big emotions and concepts to capture, but the storytellers and actors behind Gravity pulled it off.