Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff.
Sam Bell has a three year contract to work for Lunar Industries. For the contract's entire duration, he is the sole employee based at their lunar station. His primary job responsibility is to harvest and periodically rocket back to Earth supplies of helium-3, the current clean and abundant fuel used on Earth. There is no direct communication link available between the lunar station and Earth, so his only direct real-time interaction is with GERTY, the intelligent computer whose function is to attend to his day to day needs. With such little human contact and all of it indirect, he feels that three years is far too long to be so isolated; he knows he is beginning to hallucinate as the end of his three years approaches. All he wants is to return to Earth to be with his wife Tess and their infant daughter Eve, who was born just prior to his leaving for this job. With two weeks to go, he gets into an accident at one of the mechanical harvesters and is rendered unconscious. Injured, he ... Written by
According to director Duncan Jones, the film was shown to some NASA scientists who questioned why harvesting of He3 would not take place on the near side of the moon, where He3 is in more abundance. The explanation given was that the choice was made to harvest the far side so as not to affect wildlife. See more »
The final time Sam tries to log on to the computer (before Gerty does it for him), the "Access Denied" voice chimes in before he is finished typing in the password. See more »
[Sam is making a video phone call from the Moon to his home on Earth, while covering the camera with his hand]
Is this the Bell residence?
This is the Bell residence. Could you call back? There's something wrong with the picture.
I'm trying to reach Tess Bell.
I'm sorry, she passed away some years ago.
Are you sure?
Yeah, I think so. I'm her daughter. Can I help you?
[...] See more »
The letters in the credits at the beginning of the movie, are sitting parallel to the surfaces that are shown and are also casting shadows/reflections on these surfaces. See more »
Moon is an auspicious debut from Duncan Jones (née Zowie Bowie), a talented new director who happens to be the son of David Bowie (let me officially be the first person to predict that every review of this film in the mainstream press will have the tagline "SPACE ODDITY!"). Sam Rockwell gives a truly remarkable performance as Sam Bell, a lunar miner who is nearing the end of his 3-year contract at a single-man mining outpost. His only companion is the station computer, Gertie, a straight-up HAL homage that tantalizingly suggests how a culture informed by decades of watching 2001 might choose to design a companion robot.
To say too much more about the plot would be to spoil its central conceit, and while I'm sure many reviewers will talk openly about it, I want to preserve the surprise if at all possible at least until the film gets its theatrical release this coming June.
Suffice it to say that Jones admirably mixes together stock genre tropes, paying tribute to a number of classic science fiction features while retaining his own idiosyncratically dark vision. Familiar filmic concepts of the "clean future" and the "dirty future" are mixed together to create a unique atmosphere; the milieu is suitably claustrophobic, the cramped quarters of the mining station serving the film's conceptual purposes while masking the shoestring budget. In fact, it may be hard to spare a glance at the meticulously designed sets with your eyes glued to Rockwell for the duration of the picture. His performance is utterly mesmerizing, inhabiting the role so completely that it is impossible to imagine any other actor having the chutzpah to pull it off.
Which is not to say that Moon is without its problems; the pacing is hardly consistent and Jones' reliance on Rockwell tends to undersell his direction. Parts of the film veer dangerously close to identical thematic elements in Steven Soderbergh's recent adaptation of Solaris, without being as emotionally potent. But what it lacks in originality is mostly compensated for by the sheer audacity of its central performance and the careful economy of its direction.
Moon may be dressed in familiar clothing, but it is a singular experience, a clever, darkly funny and genuinely moving journey into the nature of individuality. Jones is already at work on a second science fiction feature, and it is welcome indeed to see such a promising new talent continue to develop his voice by working in genre film-making!
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