'Gravity' One Big Scene: See It in IMAX, or Don't See It at All

One Big Scene is a weekly column dedicated to spectacular visual sequences we’re recommending you see in the theater. If you have ones you’d like us to write about, let us know in the comments section.

 
The whole point of the One Big Scene column is to single out a particular sequence that is so mind-blowing, you simply must pay the price of admission to see it on the biggest screen possible.
 
For Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, that logic applies to the ENTIRE film. I’m not exaggerating. From the moment the film opens, with a slow-tracking shot of the galaxies, Gravity lives up to its billing as the most engrossing, immersive cinematic experience in years. It’s breathtaking, mesmerizing and beautiful… an absolute must-see on the big screen. 
 
But if I had to choose one scene, I’d go with this one. 
 
The Scene
 
 
Cuaron’s movie, believe it or not, is pretty simple. Astronauts working on a satellite encounter debris, disrupting their mission and putting them in a state of danger. Gravity illustrates how the smallest change can create the biggest problems in outer space… and because of our planet’s gravitational pull, those problems remain in orbit, and repeat every 90 minutes (give or take a few life-altering seconds). 
 
In the One Big Scene, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) has survived the initial onslaught of space debris, though it has separated her from her initial craft. She’s trying to get to a distant module, one owned and operated by a foreign competitor of ours – but one that might have the necessary equipment to help her get home. Stone has been warned by her supervisor (George Clooney) that the rotational pull of our planet will cause the debris to circle back around to her in roughly 90 minutes. Well, time is up. 
 
The beauty of Gravity, and of Cuaron’s masterful touch, is that he has explained to us that in space, there is no sound, no warning that danger is imminent. Just the sight of a floating, fast-moving piece of space debris is the only warning we get that things are about to get very bad for Stone. She holds on or dear life as the debris rips apart the structure to which she is trying to board. She holds on with everything that she has, but the lack of gravity in outer space means survival in these conditions is damn near impossible. 
 
You will be on the edge of your seat for this entire scene… and probably for the duration of Cuaron’s masterpiece. Gravity is brilliant, and needs to be experienced on the big screen (preferably IMAX). 
 
Do the critics agree?  
 
What Critics Are Saying
 
 
Gravity is a crowd-pleasing version of what scientists and mathematicians are said to experience in their rarefied sphere -- a wondrous fusion of faith and science.”
- David Edelstein, Vulture
 
“What's astonishing about the film is its hypnotic seamlessness -- the way that the director, Alfonso Cuarón, using special effects (and 3D) with a nearly poetic simplicity and command, places us right up there in space along with the people on screen.”
- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
 
“I haven't yet fully recovered.”
- Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice
 
Gravity opens everywhere on October 4. Trust me. Go see it.
 

 
 

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Next Article by Stacie Hougland

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New on DVD: 'This Is the End' Metapocalypse; Plus 'The Croods', 'The Little Mermaid'

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