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Moon - a thoughtful sci-fi
Member Name: jesperado
Advantages: Visually stunning, superb central performance, clever plot
Disadvantages: Weak ending, confusing in parts
I am going to try my best not to give too many plot points away as there is a twist in this film which I don't want to spoil for viewers. I apologise if I inadvertently give something away - please leave a comment if I do so and I will remove the information immediately!
WHAT IS IT:
Moon is the directorial debut from Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son!) and stars Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell. Sam is the sole human inhabitant of a lunar base and he is charged with overseeing the machines which harvest Helium3 to send back to Earth. His only company is a robot named GERTY - voiced by Kevin Spacey - whose purpose is to help Sam in any way it can. As Sam is nearing the end of his 3 year contract on the moon base, he begins to see unsettling visions and one of these visions leads him to crash a lunar buggy into one of the harvesters. From this point on, things become even more confusing as Sam suffers an existential crisis which leads him to question all that he previously took for granted. That's really all I can say plot-wise without giving too much away!
Sam Rockwell's portrayal of this lonely, homesick man is outstanding. He is incredibly engaging to watch and does not overplay his part which would be tempting as the lead actor in what is essentially a one man show. He brings a mixture of sadness and humour to the role making Sam Bell a very sympathetic and lovable character even when the unpleasant aspects of his personality are revealed. The plot twist (which I am trying not to talk about!) makes his job as an actor very difficult but he pulls off a complex role with aplomb. Rockwell is an incredibly charismatic actor who can make me laugh or cry with a single facial expression. I would suggest that if you are a fan of his performances in other roles, this film is a must-see.
Kevin Spacey's GERTY is perfectly delivered, very much in the style of HAL from 2001:A Space Odyssey. The studied empathy of his voice is just right for a machine that is approximating a human reaction to another person and gives it a very sinister air.
The look of the film is stunning with vast moonscapes contrasted with 1970s sci-fi style interiors for the lunar base. The 'external' shots were apparently done using models which somehow look more real than the too-perfect CGI shots viewers have become accustomed to in modern sci-fi. The set really gives a sense of desolation and just how isolated Sam is from the world he longs to return to.
Moon is a visually stunning film with a thoughtful and intelligent plot. I found the ending a little weak which was a bit of a let down but not enough to take the shine of Sam Rockwell's brilliant central performance.
Summary: I would thoroughly recommend this film to anyone