Part Of Alfonso Cuaron's Approach To Capturing 'Gravity' Was "No Makeup"

Alfonso Cuarón's new film Gravity placed in my 'most anticipated of 2012' list — and similar lists from many others — in part because the film is an original sci-fi story that stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts who have to contend with an accident while on a mission in space.

We've heard a lot about the production of the film; it is said to be a ground-breaking combination of live-action and CGI, possibly made to look as if it is assembled from only a few takes. Guillermo del Toro has said the movie is "absolutely pushing a new boundary in filmmaking, completely mind-blowing. And they way they're making [Gravity] will I think forever change certain types of productions. The engineering and the ingenuity of the machines they've created to film that way is fantastic."

On a much less technically striking level, there is something else different about the movie: Bullock says that she (and perhaps Clooney) performed without makeup.

USA Today talked to Bullock, who said,

God help us all when my face comes rushing at you with no makeup on. I'm going to apologize now, but Alfonso, in a brilliant move, said, 'No makeup.'

The film shot digitally, and given the degree to which we've heard CGI will be used to create the film's environment, it isn't inconceivable that there is some digital 'makeup' being applied in post-production. But if the film is really intending to capture the raw intensity of a situation where Bullock has only hours to get to safety, a non-glamorous aesthetic could be a boon to the film.

There isn't much more new detail in the article, which says the same thing we've heard for months about the film: Sandra Bullock is a "medical engineer [who] ends up being stranded in space with [George] Clooney's seasoned astronaut." If you want just a bit more detail you can go back to the recent synopsis:

[Sandra] Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky [George Clooney] in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone–tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness.

The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth...and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space.