A female “Castaway” / “Lost in Space.”

“Gravity” joins a very small, distinguished league that raise the bar in sci-fi: “2001”; “Avatar”; and the very small “Twilight Zone”-y “Moon”, directed by David Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones. You can argue with the list but you understand the point.

Directed by Alfonso Curaron (“Children of Men” and Harry Potter’s “The Prisoner of Azkaban”) , this film is an amazing technical achievement, giving most of us the closets taste of what it feels like to be weightless in space . Do see it on Imax. As usual , for my eyes at least, the 3-D did little to enhance the experience. (Gotta ask my eye doctor about that.) This is more than a movie: it’s an experience. You experience not only what it feels like to be in space but what it feels like to be lost in space.

This is a small story , with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney at center stage. It then shifts into Sandra’s vehicle. At times, the space-suited Oscar winning actress has to act only with her eyes. Clooney really ramps up his natural charm, adding much needed levity to a very scary , always-at-the-edge-of-your-seat film. Not a minute is wasted in this 90 minute winner.

While the director could have flashbacked to earth for our character’s back stories, he chose to keep the entire screen time set in space. So, for the entire film, you’re there with them in space.

By the way, the unseen voice of Mission Control is that of Ed Harris of “Apollo 13” and “The Right Stuff”. Nice homage .

You’ve never seen a sci-fier like this. Look for Oscar noms for Sandra Bullock and even more so, Curaron.