In the near future, Sam Bell (Rockwell) works on the dark side of the moon, maintaining the quarries owned by the world’s leading energy provider. With only a smiley-faced computer (voiced by Spacey) to keep him company, Sam’s solitary existence is hard on his psyche.
But his three-year contract is almost completed, and he looks forward to returning to earth and his family soon. Smart enough to avoid relying on a single plot twist for effect, Moon’s truths unfold gradually. Rockwell’s one-man show is out-of-this-world superb: his repertoire includes the full range of emotions, from playful vitality to existential dread, from love, hope and rage all the way to madness.
Despite its retro-futuristic look, Moon tackles some of the 21st century’s pressing moral issues, and manages to pull it all off with ease and subtlety; it’s the kind of filmmaking gem that benefits from its modest means. Small gestures allude to deeper subtexts, and a knack for detail strikes a perfect balance with the heavier universal themes. They just don’t make science fiction like this anymore.
MOON | Directed by Duncan Jones (UK 2009) with Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey. Opens in Berlin cinemas on July 15.