Directed by: Duncan Jones
Premise: In the future, a private corporation harvests energy from the moon at a space station operated by one man on a three-year rotation. After an accident, he begins to suspect that he may be a clone that the company has mass-produced to maintain the station.
What Works: Moon is an attempt to do a science fiction film that does not involve intergalactic warfare, alien invasions, or monsters and as a result this film finds itself in the very slim and distinguished genre of pure science fiction. This is a very original picture that puts its character first, letting the science and technology of its setting speak for itself. Sam Rockwell gives a great performance as the lonely space station operator and Moon puts a lot of pressure on its lead actor, making him virtually the only human performer for the majority of the film. Rockwell pulls it off and his dual performances in the film are impressive; he has the difficult task of playing two people who are essentially the same but are also distinct individuals and his performance as both characters is carefully tuned to the particulars of each. In addition to the work of the actor, the filmmakers do a nice job with the costuming and make up so that in any given shot we know which of these two identical men we are looking at.
What Doesn’t: Moon is a bit like a stage play in many respects. Although it is cinematic, Moon is a cerebral film and does not have the kind of movement or action scenes often associated with the science fiction genre.
DVD extras: Commentary tracks and featurettes.
Bottom Line: Moon is an impressive science fiction film. It’s seriousness and serious take on space exploration put it nearly in the same league as science fiction films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and WALL-E.
Episode: #278 (February 28, 2010)