(M) Sony DVD/BD

Sam (Sam Rockwell) is on his own on the moon, working for Lunar Industries collecting Helium 3, an energy-laden ore, to send back to earth, where his wife and young daughter wait for him.

His only companion is a robot named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey).

After three years it’s time to go home. But things start to go wrong. Sam imagines things, feels ill and has an accident.

He awakes to find he was saved by a clone — another Sam.

From a quiet study in loneliness and isolation the film becomes an examination of the evolving relationship between the two Sams, both played by Rockwell.

Director Duncan Jones, an admirer of blue-collar sci-fi like Outland and Alien, creates space as a gritty industrial park. In this alien but “realistic” setting Sam first has to learn about himself by himself, like Robinson Crusoe. Then he learns about himself with himself.

In addition to addressing questions of identity and memory, The Moon helps us think about how an environment can change us and, finally, what makes us human.

The Moon also shows it is possible for a smart new director and a talented actor to make an engaging film without the aid of a huge special effects budget and 3-D glasses.

Stephen Webb


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