GRAVITY (12A) Pavilion, Galashiels

George Clooney in Gravity.
George Clooney in Gravity.
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Embracing technology is what gives the cinema its edge over DVD box sets.

The trouble has always been the temptation to go loopy loo with CGI in preference to a good story, or a well constructed script.

This time you have it all – stunning special effects, a minimal cast, restricted dialogue and a visual treat that keeps tension on a tight leash.

Suddenly, in the hands of Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, artistry marries the disaster movie and creates a child of infinite wonder.

It was Ridley Scott who warned that screaming in space was a waste of energy. No-one can hear you. It is Gravity that announces: “Life in space is impossible.”.

A scientist and an astronaut are working on a damaged satellite when a debris storm hits and they find themselves out there, suited and helmeted, in weightless nothingness, with a limited supply of oxygen and the slimmest of slim chances of making it back alive.

In one sense, this is the simplest of stories, honing in on a fundamental fear, like Jaws did. In another, it contains every aspect and complexity of psychological denial, triggered by an irrational belief in survival.

As the space rookie, Sandra Bullock gives a performance far beyond the reach of anything she has ever done before and, as the wisecracking rocket jock, George Clooney impersonates Buzz Lightyear to the letter.

Gravity boldly goes beyond 2001, Star Wars and The Alien Trilogy into a brave new orbit where the breath you take is more precious than the gun you left behind.