How will 'Gravity' measure up against these classics?
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Director: Steven Soderbergh
Why: Taking on Andrei Tarkovsky's austerely brilliant adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's landmark 1961 sci-fi novel was a very tall order -- so leave it to Steven Soderbergh to come up with a film that honors both Tarkovsky's and Lem's visions, even as it completely redesigns them. I don't admit that it's Soderbergh's film I'd take with me to a desert island before Tarkovsky's: it's a more wistful, broken-hearted interpretation, a psychological love story following George Clooney's astronaut-shrink through a deserted space station in which his memories appear to be the only living things. More contained than Tarkovsky's film, it still luxuriates in its empty spaces: Philip Messina's production design and Cliff Martinez's sinuous score compound the sense of romantic despair. One of Clooney's best performances, too.