An austronaut named Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been living alone in the moon for nearly three years supervising the production of energy resources that originate in the moon. Two weeks before he goes home, strange things start happening. That is all I can say about moon withough giving too much away. That is pretty much someone that goes to see the movie needs to know. Also that it is great.
Production wise, Moon is an great achievement for a movie with its budget. It has good sets, good cinematography, and good visual effects. Sure, it can’t compete with movies like Star Trek or Harry Potter, but it is still visually pleasing. It is up to par with The Fountain in terms of being a low budget movie with great visual effects.
In terms of the direction, it is a solid directorial debut for Duncan Jones. It could have been the greatest directorial debut of the decade, beating Sarah Polley’s in Away from Her, but instances like allowing some flashbacks where they are not needed. That can be attributed to the screenplay, which has an interesting story and good dialogue, but it is very flawed.
There are two things that stand out the most in the movie. One is Clint Mansell’s score. Knowing that Mansell wrote the score is what got me interested in the movie in the first place. While it is not his best score, it will be hard to top The Fountain, it was still better than most movies have today. Then there is Sam Rockwell’s amazing performance. Never did I every stop to think “hey, that’s the dude from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” His performance grabbed me from the second he appears on the screen and never let go. There were moments where he could have gone into scenery chewing territory, but he never did. It is an Oscar worthy performance and hopefully he will not be forgotten by year’s end (which is what is likely to happen unfortuantely).
Moon is a rare treatment. It is a sci-fi movie that does not involve aliens or the planet’s destruction and it has something to say about how our lives today may drive the people who control the world to take extreme measures to make everyone happy. It will now be a box office champ, so far it has only made three million dollars, but hopefully audiences will discover this gem once it is released for home viewing. That is the least it deserves, to be discovered by the masses.