Rockwell's Performance Orbits a Distant Moon
- Friday, July 17, 2009
Is he a theist? A mystic? Religion is never far from the center of the action in Moon, although that action is contemplative and ideas-based, not built around space battles, aliens or anything else modern audiences might associate with science-fiction films set in outer space. Moon is more interested in where our ideas originate, and just how much control we have over our destinies and past memories. The answers are not comfortable, although the film's embrace of personhood in the face of technological upheaval is a hopeful note amid the distressing realities Sam comes to face as the story unfolds.
Nevertheless, these themes are not well worked out. Moon suggests them but then settles for a rather hackneyed climax, driven by loud, pulsating music and a beat-the-clock, edge-of-your-seat tension that comes out of nowhere and which represents a break from the careful, studied tone of everything that comes before the finale. The result is that the film's climax feels rushed, and less than satisfying. Here's hoping that time, and a few repeat viewings, will uncover further clues to the meaning of Moon and the intentions of its filmmakers, but viewers let down by the film may be unwilling to give it another chance.
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- Language/Profanity: Lord's name taken in vain; several instances of foul language, including the "f" word.
- Smoking/Drinking: A character says, "I don't know what you're smoking.'"
- Sex/Nudity: Backside male nudity; Sam tells Gerty he needs "to get laid"; Sam dreams of making love to his wife; they take each other's tops off; a father says his daughter "might be the milkman's."
- Violence/Crime: A vehicle accident puts Sam in the infirmary; two men fight, causing one man's face to bleed; vomiting; a man's tooth comes out as his health deteriorates; blood comes from a man's nose.
- Marriage: Sam's wife back on earth talks of needing time apart.
- Religion: God is not mentioned, but Sam's daughter is named Eve and he builds models of churches. He also refers to the game of ping-pong as being "zen."
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