Moon (15)

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The Independent Culture

An indie sci-fi movie? That's what the director Duncan Jones has put together, to mostly inspired effect.

It's the near future, and corporate engineer Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is on the final stretch of a three-year job, manning a space station on the far side of the Moon that harvests energy for a depleted Earth. He's been alone all that time, his sole company the station's computer Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey), and after an accident during a routine repair he begins to deteriorate, his mind prey to paranoid delusions. Jones and his writer Nathan Parker nod to genre classics in terms of both design (the spaceship interior has the eerie, sterile whiteness of Alien) and of philosophical unease (the speaking computer recalls the sinister Hal in 2001: a Space Odyssey), though one might detect an even earlier antecedent: isn't Sam, in his terrible solitude and longing for contact, a kind of space-age Crusoe? The plot's denouement is probably the least satisfying aspect of the film, though in its insistent focus upon a single actor it scores a bull's-eye for daring.