Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are really the only castmembers of Alfonso Cuaron’s sensational “Gravity.” Nevertheless, the red carpet for the premiere at the AMC Lincoln Square last night was longer than usual. And the movie started 45 minutes late at least. “There are only two people in this movie,” I said to a security guy on the red carpet. “Yeah,” he replied, “but look which two people.”
“Gravity,” as I wrote from Toronto, is some amazing technological achievement. It’s also a sharply written story about a female astronaut’s learning curve as she fights for her life in outer space. Clooney provides comic relief, Cary Grant-style. He also plays into a story twist that leaves a lump in every audience member’s throat.
The movie is so good, and the studio knows it, that Warner Bros. threw a swelegant soiree at the Museum of Natural History’s outdoor patio behind the planetarium. The weather cooperated, too– just warm enough to enjoy the last vestiges of summer turning to fall. To make up for a small cast, Peggy Siegal made sure a lot of famous folks were there to applaud Bullock and Clooney, including rocker and writer Patti Smith, directors Steven Soderbergh and Joel Coen, Tony nominee Richard Kind, Bob and Lynn Balaban, Patricia Clarkson, Dan Rather and wife Jean, Regis and Joy Philbin, Michael and Laurie Gelman, plus producer David Heyman and his dad, famed producer John Heyman with glamorous wife Nizzia.
If you don’t know, David Heyman produced all the “Harry Potter” movies. Alfonso Cuaron directed the best one, “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” So Heyman hooked up with him again for the stunning 3D “Gravity.” Cuaron made sure the audience felt for the characters, not were just consumed by the special effects.
Warners studio chief Kevin Tsujihara , marketing genius Sue Kroll and Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes all seemed very happy with the results.
The party was the most relaxed and fun affair I can remember in Warners history. Bullock and Clooney had a ball, talking to everyone. Today (Wednesday) the press is having lunch with them.
“Don’t ask me how I made the movie, okay?” Bullock laughed. She’s one of the best people in Hollywood, you know. She’s been answering that question for weeks. Bullock’s hair is long, by the way, and cascaded down a gorgeous white gown.
“Okay,” I said. “How was craft services?”
“I wouldn’t know,” she cried. “I couldn’t eat anything. I was always tied up or in a space suit. I couldn’t go to the bathroom! I never had solid food. Liquids. A lot of milk shakes.”
“You were tied up?”
“In wires, for flying,” she said.
“You mean you don’t actually fly. All that weightlessness. There were wires?”
Bullock looked at me with a frown of sympathy. Is there no Santa Claus? “Did I ruin it for you? I don’t actually fly.”
I am crestfallen. Who knew? More tomorrow…