Film review: Moon

Moon / 97mins / 15A

Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey (voice), Dominique McElligott

I headed up to the lighthouse to watch this last night. Best cinema in Ireland by the way. By far. The old folk contingent was high in there for some reason. They weren’t the only ones. I suppose Friday must be movie night for the old, while the young get butchered and dry hump in late bars. I’d torn the arse out of it this week so I needed a civilised evening. Anyway.

This movie is beautiful in many ways. Besides the production design, model making (done in favour of CGI), the fucking cool score and all that lovely stuff, Sam Rockwell is amazing. It’s pretty much just him for the whole movie and he carries it off. It should nearly be called “Sam” not “Moon”. Ok – he’s talking to screens and his Hal-style, robot-helper, Gerty (Kevin Spacey), but there’s no one else (ish) on the lunar surface. Having said that, he goes though an awful lot. Sam could even be up for an Oscar.

So here’s the craic. Basically he’s coming to the end of a three year stint mining the moon. His live-link with earth is down so he’s getting recorded messages from his missus and the company he works for. Some of it’s pretty emotional actually. The lunar mining base kind of runs itself. He chips in when shit breaks down or a load needs to be sent back to earth. Anyway, in the last fortnight of his stint, he starts losing it a bit. He makes some crazy discoveries about the isolated situation he’s in and it gets stranger from there before things clear to what’s actually happening.

It’s hard to talk about this movie without ruining it. There’s a twist or two in it. And it gets a pretty freaky in the moments just before things start dawning on you. There’s no supernatural happeningsĀ in it though, don’t worry. But it brings up all sorts of philosophical questions. Its director, Duncan Jones (Bowie’s young fella) studied philosophy with particular attention paid to artificial intelligence. It shows. As does shades of Kubrick, Cronenberg, Ridley Scott and the likes. This is Jones’ first movie and it could be too early to say but I reckon it’ll be up there with the classics in the genre.

I’m probably making this sound all nerdy and sci-fi. Yes, it’ll satisfy nerds who love sci-fi. But this is a movie about the human condition, meta-ethics and even employer/employee relations. Look, if you like good, smart movies, go and see it. Maybe go see it twice. You’ll probably want to. And if you see it in the Lighthouse, hit Ryans at the bottom right corner of Smithfield square afterwards and drink some whiskey.

Kevin Jay

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