My dictation in the Movie Dictator Club for the month of December, 2009 is finally delivered, better late than never, sort of like a banana with a yeast infection!
Screenplay By: Nathan Parker
Directed By: Duncan Jones
I was prepared to go to a very meta place with my review of Moon, but as I sat in front of my laptop and became more and more frustrated with my wi-fi bugging out on me I had a change of heart. Others have tackled the meta aspect of Moon in greater detail than I could ever hope to deliver. As far as the meta of Moon is concerned, I will say this and only this, there’s a lot to chew on in Moon. What I haven’t seen many people talk about in regards to Moon is the mystery, story or overall atmosphere of the film. Don’t misread me, I loved that Moon was so meta, but if the story hadn’t of absorbed me as much as it did I doubt I would have been as jazzed to talk about Moon as I am.
It’s funny that my wi-fi continues to cut out on me as I attempt to write this review, because in many ways that sums up the opposite of my experience while watching Moon. It’s been at least over a month since I’ve had a film come along and kick me in the teeth and completely absorb me into its world. Even L’armée Des Ombres was more of a clinical viewing experience than a case of a film seeping into my world through osmosis. As Moon began I was acutely aware of the timer on the front of my DVD player, as I am with all DVDs that have just started playing, but with each passing second I found myself noticing my own natural surroundings less and less. At first it was simply the score and the atmosphere that Duncan Jones created, but the mystery of the story wasn’t far behind.
At some point, I can’t tell you exactly when, I entered a complete state of absorption with Moon, a state that very few movies manage to put me in. The outside world ceased to exist, all that I knew and all that I needed to know was on the screen in front of me. But it wasn’t so much on the screen as it was in my head, and my eyes, flooding my senses to the point of utter shutdown. Before I could lose myself anymore into Moon something else happened, and that something was named Sam Rockwell.
I have always been a huge Sam Rockwell fan, it is true that I could watch him read entries out of the phone book and get some level of enjoyment out of the experience. When he is given material to work with, however, I don’t just get enjoyment out of the experience, it becomes a worthwhile experience in ways that are hard to explain without crossing the line into useless hyperbole. Needless to say Rockwell was on point from the start of Moon, but as he began playing off of himself and all the elements of Moon came together the film became a sort of transcendent monstrosity. One that I wasn’t sure my head could hope to contain, Rockwell when he’s good is hard enough to deal with but when he’s on fire like in Moon and has atmosphere and story to aid him there’s no hope of me not possibly jizzing in my pants.
Don’t worry, those of you who are in the middle of thinking I’m about to declare Moon the greatest movie ever made can settle down. Moon is a great movie no doubt, one that I feel will hold up to countless future viewings, but it isn’t a film I would place among the greatest of all time at this very moment, but who knows how my opinion will change in the future? Right now, as my wi-fi cuts out yet again, I can let you in on a little secret, there’s more to Moon than its meta reputation. If you are looking for a movie drenched in atmosphere and mystery that will offer you something slightly off the beaten path then Moon is a movie you need to seek out. I’m very thankful to always awesome Irishman ‘Noke for dictating Moon to me, my only regret is that it took so long for me to get around to it.
Glad you liked this one, man. I agree with ya, it was a good’n. Did you know Duncan Jones is David Bowie’s son, and his birth name is Zowie Bowie? Pretty neat, huh?
Yeah, I knew of the connection, just goes to show that talent runs in the family!
‘complete state of absorption’
I did find things to like about Moon, but I was never completely absorbed as you so luckily were (I wish such a movie watching experience happened to me more often quite honestly). I thought it to be aesthetically pleasing and containing some interesting storytelling ingredients, such as the multiple Rockwells, but I distinctly remember leaving the theatre a bit cold. Perhaps it was the mood, or the setting, or the pace. Maybe it was a bit of all three, but I was never fully engaged with the movie.
I liked how you put your love for Sam Rockwell in a nutshell: you could find satisfaction watching him read the phone book. I also use a variation of that sort of expression for Liam Neeson: I could watch him cook eggs and bacon all morning and I’d be nothing but thrilled.
Sam Rockwell is an unsung hero in the acting world — he takes a lot of risks with the parts he chooses and he always turns in a good performance. “Moon” has been surrounded by so much praise that I’m convinced I have to see it.
Ross – Thanks.
Edgar – I’m sorry you weren’t able to be absorbed by the film, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
M – Take the plunge, it’s well worth it, as long as you are fan of Rockwell and mood driven atmosphere films you should be happy with said plunge.
I thought Moon was a pretty enjoyable film and a great directorial debut of Duncan Jones. I was surprise to see that Sam Rockwell didn’t get a nomination, considering a lot of people were campaigning for him.
Dreher – Award shows a very unpredictable and ultimately disappointing and pointless i find.