By Dave Campbell | July 10, 2009
Director: Duncan Jones
Writer(s): Duncan Jones, Nathan Parker
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey (voice), Dominique McElligott, Kaya Scodelario
Set in the near future, Moon is the story of corporate Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) who is living on the far side of Earth’s moon. Sam is there completing a three-year work contract for Lunar Industries overseeing automated mining operations for Helium-3, Earth’s primary source of clean energy. The job is a solo mission with no other people stationed with him, all made harder by a broken satellite preventing any kind of real time live communications with Earth. Sent and received recorded messages are his only means of communication with home.
The only conversation Sam has during his time on the moon is with “Gerty”, the base’s track tethered, talking computer that responds to the needs of Sam and his well-being with smiley-face expressions displayed on his screen. Thankfully for Sam, he is only a few short weeks away from the end of his contract and will finally get to leave moon base Sarang, which has been his home for the past three years. To get himself through it he can only anticipate reuniting with his wife, Tess, and their three-year-old daughter, Eve.
As Sam’s departure gets closer he starts to have hallucinations, headaches, and a lack of focus. This causes him to have an almost fatal accident on a routine lunar rover drive to repair a mining vehicle. Sam finds himself now back at the base recuperating with no memory of how he got there. He is now faced with the most shocking and emotional secrets of his existence, and the discovery of where he fits in…to Lunar Industries’ agenda.
Moon is the most compelling piece of classic science-fiction added to the genre in over a decade. Director Duncan Jones (son of a one David Bowie), has exploded onto the scene with his first feature film. An incredibly amazing feat that was accomplished at an unheard of $5 million dollar price tag.The film is as much a look into the human psyche as it is a look at corporate deception and conspiracy. Moon is complex in the most satisfying of ways and poses a host of questions about humanity.
Jones himself has stated that sci-fi classics of the 70’s & 80’s such as Alien, Silent Running, Blade Runner, Outland, and 2001: A Space Odyssey are direct influences to his vision, since they also told a human story in future or alien environments. Jones dialed in his own experience with effects from his work on commercials and brought in production designer Tony Noble, and concept artist Gavin Rothery to create model miniatures layered with the right amount of CG to create a textured hybrid of visuals that come out more believable than your $200 million dollar projects.
Sam Rockwell exudes brilliance in his dynamic performance as Sam Bell, taking the character through a full range of emotional depth as he deals with isolation, loneliness, and enlightenment on the baron emptiness of the moon. Rockwell has finally gained enough attention in Hollywood with Frost/Nixon, Choke, The Assassination of Jesse James, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, to prove that he is leading material. With Moon, he continues to build a solid resume with his greatest work yet. I know it may be a bit premature to discuss such things, but look for Moon and Sam Rockwell to be a possible contenders as we inch closer to the awards season.
This is ground control to Major "Jones", you've really made the grade.