Film Review: Moon

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Film Review: Moon

 (Sony Pictures Classics)

(Sony Pictures Classics)

(Sony Pictures Classics)

(Sony Pictures Classics)

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This year has been good to the Science Fiction genre. With the huge amount of big budget Hollywood movies released, it’s a little hard to keep track of the smaller films in limited release. One of those films in particular demands notice. Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, was a pleasant surprise and a film that any sci-fi fan or movie-goer should see.

Set in the distant future, Sam Bell, portrayed by Sam Rockwell, is an isolated astronaut stationed on the moon to harvest Helium-3 – the world’s cleanest form of energy – for Lunar Industries.

With a robot assistant named Gerty, voiced by Kevin Spacey, as his only companion, the lonely contractor slowly starts to lose his grip on reality and begins to have hallucinations of other people on the lunar base. The only thing keeping him from truly losing his mind are video messages from his wife and daughter back on Earth.

Approaching the end of his three years of service on the moon, he survives a freak accident while on the job and ultimately makes a shocking discovery that will alter the course of life and everything he believes in. From there, the film takes many twists and turns that are heartbreaking and profoundly bittersweet.

Written and directed by Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker, Moon takes a fresh approach to the Sci-Fi genre. Surprisingly, it uses very little CGI in favor of actual models and miniatures. The presentation of the movie resembles that of Alien or 2001: A Space Odyssey, giving the film a grounded and believable look. One aspect that stands out the most is the “used” look. Instead of the clean and sterilized environments seen in other sci-fi films, the space station in this film is worn down and dirty, adding another layer of believability to movie.

Sam Rockwell delivers a remarkable performance as a lonely astronaut isolated on the moon. While there have been some comparisons to the film Cast Away with Tom Hanks, Rockwell’s portrayal is much more complex. I’d be spoiling the movie if I went into the specifics of why it’s so complex, but suffice it to say, his performance shows a myriad of different emotions throughout the film. His portrayal of Sam Bell is heartbreaking and should net Rockwell an Oscar nomination.  

It’s been a great year for Science Fiction films, and Moon is an excellent addition to the number of good movies in the genre. This film gives viewers a haunting and unique look at our only natural satellite. I’m fairly neutral when it comes to Sci-Fi movies to be honest, but after seeing this film, I immediately wanted to watch it again. I highly recommend you check out Moon when it’s released next month on DVD and Blu-Ray.