Moon is a near future science fiction drama that evokes a strong sense of isolation, loneliness, fear and transition. Oscar award winner Sam Rockwell is Sam Bell, an astronaut hired by a distant corporate enterprise to be the sole engineer stationed at their lunar base. Nearing the end of his 3 year contract Sam reflects on the memory of his life on earth and how his time in space has affected him and those he cares about. A pervasive and haunting score compliment the stellar performance given by Rockwell, whose range of character and lucidity make for a wonderful performance.
Perplexing and dynamic, Moon presents a unique method of pitting the multiple characters Rockwell can play against and off of each other. Our sole character (with the exception of Kevin Spacey as GERTY, a modern contrast to 2001 Space Oddessy’s Hal 9000) feels like someone with a soul rather than an emulation of emotion, and thankfully such is the case. This film is slow moving and character driven, and if that pacing still keeps you engaged then the payoff is satisfying. With a run time of only 97 minutes it’s just the length where you feel comfortable starting it lying in bed without fear that you won’t finish. What this movie is not is ecstatic. It is not explosive nor particularly frightening. The overarching uncertainty of the film might tread the borders of psychological thriller but, overall the tone stays true to a character driven science fiction story. And that is what this movie is really about. Uncertainty. We the viewer through the eyes of Sam Bell uncover more about the lunar station, the status of Sam’s forlorn home and as truths are revealed the less certain you become. This isn’t to say that the plot is needlessly confusing (Insert: The Cloverfield Paradox). The film’s pacing is below average in rate but every scene has a purpose and intent of moving the plot forward towards a more important mystery than the last. It’s difficult to write about some of the more dramatic emotions this movie exerts without spoiling the reveals that cause them. That being said the films score (Clint Mansell: Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) evicts a level of tension and loneliness without being overbearing or distracting (Insert Dunkirk). Every film has its problems and this one is no different. I found the ending to be a somewhat haphazard attempt at a resolution for an otherwise bleak and uncertain future. Regardless of this minor misstep which might just be a personal difference in taste Moon stands tall in the sci-fi genre for its originality alone.