Moon (2009)
Impressive, intimate science fiction
16 August 2009
"Moon", for all the comparisons to cerebral SF films of the past, boils down to essential human drama, albeit with a neat twist. The feature debuts of director Duncan Jones and cinematographer Gary Shaw aren't always impressive, as what initially seems to be a deliberately grungy look is proved by awful use of slow-motion and some very clumsy transitions to be the result of inexperienced direction, while Shaw's work is consistently dull and plain. The effects work (model miniatures used) is not too impressive either, even considering the low budget for the film. However, the screenplay by Nathan Parker is absolutely excellent, with superb story development, dialogue, and characterization, and some very good ideas which are, contrary to what many critical reviews say, pretty well-explored (and subtly, too). Sam Rockwell's performance is sublime, and while the aesthetic does let the screenplay and performance down a bit, Jones does succeed at creating a great, suspenseful atmosphere and deserves credit for Rockwell's performance as well, surely, and the film is very nicely-paced. Very good score by Clint Mansell and voice work by Kevin Spacey help the film succeed. A minor gem.
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