Spoilers ahead for those of you that haven't seen Gravity*
Gravity has received unanimous critical praise, but if there were one criticism you could legitimately levy at Alfonso Cuaron’s space epic, is that the plot is somewhat lacking compared to the breath-taking imagery and CGI. It’s more or a roller-coaster ride, a theme park attraction, than a film.
Stranded above earth in Gravity
However you, as the audience, are welcomed to fill in any blanks you wish to. Cuaron provides ample space, no pun intended, for you to ponder your own plot points in the film. Like: does Matt break the record? What does Ryan Stone do when she lands on earth? And who was on the other end of that SOS call?
Well for the latter, Jonas Cuaron – Alfonso’s brother and co-writer of Gravity’s screenplay – has closed a few doors with his brilliant short film, which accompanies the big-budget blockbuster perfectly, and could even be in line for some Academy recognition itself.
"It's this moment where the audience and the character get this hope that Ryan is finally going to be OK," J. Cuaron told The Hollywood Reporter of the scene in which Stone’s call is finally answered. "Then you realize that everything gets lost in translation."
The short shares many themes with it’s bigger, longer brother. Both are stranded, miles from human contact, in a wide, inhospitable expanse. And both, it would appear, need help.
Perhaps the most heart-breaking aspect of Aningaaq is when Stone asks the Inuit fisherman - stationed on a remote fjord in Greenland – to pray for her. He’s not listening one bit; he’s tending to his crying child instead. Stone doesn’t know that, and before this accompanying short, we didn’t either.
Bullock, an Academy member who would be given a vote should Aningaaq be nominated in the shorts category, is a huge fan. The star called the film an "absolutely beautiful piece of loneliness. … I get goose bumps thinking about it" at a Los Angeles press conference.
*Go and watch Gravity now - it's in theaters everywhere!