Moon (2009) – Film Review

Sam Rockwell faces a return flight to Earth after spending three years alone on the Moon. All he has to do is keep himself together long enough to see his mission out...

With the idea of living alone for three years being alarming enough, it is little surprise that when astronaut Sam Bell’s (Sam Rockwell) three solitary years spent on the Moon overseeing the collection of He3 draw to a close he begins to experience hallucinations and unexplainable happenings.

Just why Lunar Industries has deemed it viable for Bell’s task of collecting resources to aid Earth’s energy problems to be given to one person alone in fact forms the crux of the film’s focus. Moon promises an introspective tale with its tantalisingly teasing tagline ‘the last place you’d ever expect to find yourself’ and if you take away the film’s setting Moon tells the story of one man coming to terms with loneliness and the ethics of isolation.

Shot in an impressive 33 days, Moon is both imaginative and original and marks a great debut for first-time director Duncan Jones. Without giving too much away his use of low-budget CGI and camera techniques are impressive and make great use of the small cast.

For a film so devoid of characters, Moon never feels lacklustre or empty. Kevin Spacey’s voicing of GERTY, Sam’s robotic companion, is perfect and reminiscent of Hal in 2001: A Space Odyssey whilst GERTY’s simple emoticons offer an interesting exploration of emotion, even if they are rather sinister at times. Sam Rockwell steals the show with his portrayal of the lonely Bell and, although sometimes seeming to lack emotion, he makes the transition from Hollywood funny-man to gripping-lead well.

Moon’s twists and turns are not excessively drawn out and the film is very much story-led. Its simplistic telling of Bell’s life and his discoveries are refreshing whilst the innovative use of the base’s video links to Earth add an interesting aspect in understanding Bell’s isolation.

Director Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son.

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