Moon (2009) Short Review
Moon is a well told science fictioner carried on the shoulders of Sam Rockwell’s performance(s). Aside from Kevin Spacey’s voice as the lunar facilitys computer, the film is almost entirely a one man show.
Rockwell’s one of those actors that brings a higher level of creativity to his parts along with great comic timing. That’s on full display here. He has to convey a wide range of emotions in this and to depict a person at 2 different stages of their life. One is new to the facility and one has spent three years isolated on the moon (literally) running a nearly entirely automated operation by himself.
The film plays up the isolation of the latter stage. For a while you may not know what’s going on. May not. If you’ve seen a significant number of films in this genre, then you may. There are scenes that feature possible hallucinations (or is it something else?) that when combined with what actually does happen to provide the impetus for the story, provides a feeling of diorientation. You know as much (or as little) as Rockwell’s character does and discover the events as he does… Unless, as I said, you’re a fan of the genre. You may be ahead of him, then.
There are few other roles in the film that offer anything more than a line or two, execept for the role of Sam Bell’s wife. She’s played by Dominique McElligott and has the thankless duty to play a character that is always seen on a monitor in a state of forlorn distress (save for one flashback). The movie maybe didn’t feature her quite enough in other less emotional states. Maybe I just wanted to see more of her, but you do see quite a bit of her (as opposed to seeing her quite a bit… little joke, there).
This kind of story is what science fiction is best suited for; setting up possible conundrums that offer some insight into or poses question about contemporary society. The story itself is not truly revealed until the final 2 lines of the film. The unseen character that utters them turns what has been a puzzlesome science fiction tale into a clear point about current affairs. It’s a point that has a subjective premise (one that I don’t totally agree with), but it doesn’t take anything away from the film no matter where you stand on the current issue of… Well, don’t want to spoil anything.
For such a low budget film, especially in the realm of the genre (and where the totality of the scenes take place in space in a more technologically advanced future), the FX are very well done and rarely fail to deliver the illusion intended. I was impressed by the sets and the camerawork. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of making a film look big screen and the work here is phenomenal. The soundtrack by Clint Mansell was equally impressive while being unobtrusive. The score is never flashy so much as accentuating the visual/emotional tone.
There are some minor flaws in the film. Most of them are of the narrative variety where there are things that are overlooked for the purpose of what the story is trying to say. There are also common sense questions that would be raised earlier on by the main character, but arent asked to provide for greater suspense. I dont really have problems with those, though. Overall, an impressive debut by the films director.It managed to make my Best of 2009 and my Best of the 2000s.