MOON


2009

DIRECTOR: Duncan Jones

May Contain Spoilers!

Moon: A film which was clearly modelled on the 1970’s sci-fi classics of the day, complete with lonely man dealing with an extended stay on an industrial outpost who eventually, after three years, coming face to face with himself. I won’t go any further into the plot for fear of spoilers, but I must admit that films which deal with solitude and look into the minds of those forced to deal with it, often leave me a little cold.

But this was a massive exception! Sam Rockwell is our astronaut and it appears that after staring long into abyss, the abyss did indeed stare back at him, but literally in the form of another version of himself. It is this interplay and that with the Kevin Spacey voiced robot/computer, GERTY, which clearly has a resemblance to both HAL 9000 and those robots from Silent Running, both films clearly influencing here, which drive the plot, which is both philosophical and literally quite fascinating.

Does it offer anything new? Well, no, not really but it does manage to pay homage to what is considered to be classic era of Science Fiction, where the loneliness of space replaced Martians and little green men, and it does so with 100% success. This is without a doubt, a masterpiece of modern cinema, with a brisk running time of just 93 mins, therefore not out-staying its welcome and some first-rate performances, particularly from Rockwell, who is pretty much at his best in this.

But the production design, music, cinematography and direction are also the stars here, with a realistic and yet retro feel to the Moon and its sets, an eery and emotionally low-key score from Clint Mansell and beside the aforementioned 70’s tone, the film manages to walk the fine line between feeling realistic and yet stylised. Even GERTY was designed perfectly, looking functional whilst conveying a host of emotions through recognisable emoticons.

But the biggest surprise here for me is that this was successful. Many have tried to recreate cinema’s Golden Eras but Duncan Jones, who would go on to follow this with Source Code, another throw-back, though not as good, has managed to wrestle all the elements to make this work and the result is one of the best stylised Sci-Fi films since Gattaca.

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