CineVegas 2009


Sam Rockwell in Moon
Benjamin Spacek

In the future, Earth’s energy crisis will be resolved by mining Helium 3 from the far side of the moon. Apparently, this is a one-man job. Astronaut Sam Bell (Rockwell) is nearing the end of his three-year contract with Lunar Industries, where he is the sole human operating the moon base responsible for harvesting and shipping the precious energy.

CineVegas 2009

Three and a half stars
Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey (voice).
Directed by Duncan Jones.
More CineVegas
Complete coverage of CineVegas 2009
Film reviews

Needless to say, it’s a lonely existence. His only companion is a robot named GERTY, who displays an endless array of emoticons on his video screen and has the soothing voice of Kevin Spacey. It’s an obvious and intentional reference to HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and director Jones (son of David Bowie, believe it or not) has a lot of fun playing with our preconceived notions.

To say anything more about the plot would reveal too much; suffice to say that despite some impressive effects on a limited budget, we are firmly in existential Solaris-type territory here. It’s largely a one-man show for the continuously astounding Rockwell, who grapples with all kinds of inner and outer turmoil, whilst simultaneously retaining a boundless energy and infectious sense of humor that gets even the placid GERTY to crack a smile.


Previous Discussion:

  • Everything in theaters this week, plus special screenings and movie reviews.

  • The movie stumbles within the framework of the great-artist biopic, but it can be affecting as a depiction of a troubled, sometimes tender romance.

  • Hint: Two from the ’50s, two from the ’70s and one from 1998. No, not that one.

  • Get More Film Stories
Top of Story