Emotionally broken, inexperienced in the ways of outer space, and a bit arrogant, Dr. Ryan Stone shouldn't have been the one who survives. But she does. That's the issue we in the audience for "Gravity" have to wrestle with: What allowed Stone to make it, against all odds?
The one who should have survived is the experienced astronaut and wise-ass Matt Kowalski. He's also great in crisis.
He's the one who gets Stone from drifting in space to a strategic plan to how to return to earth. But he makes the sacrifice to untether himself from her in order to give her a chance at making it. When she is later at a bottom, the dead Kowalski mystically appears in one of the space stations. He gives her a stern talking-to.
So, how does Stone make it?
Well, she's open. She does follow a plan she doesn't understand or consider herself capable of implementing. She is rallied by Kowalski's return from the dead.
She's smart. She can catch on to whatever. There her inexperience might have served her well because she didn't know enough to be rigid.
She can change. After Kowalski's visit she was able to let go of her dead daughter Sarah. She turned her over to Kowalski's oversight.
She can hold on. She gave the plan her best shot, even though it might not have turned out in her favor. That's probably the key lesson for our times: Amidst uncertainty, don't give up, especially prematurely.
When Stone manages to make it out of the landing capsule and swim to shore, she first collapses. Then, she gets up, plants her feet firmly on earth. We predict this woman is going to find a husband and have a child. We know and now she knows she can do that and still be a Leaning In Careerist.