|The view from Moon.|
Sam's at the end of a three-year stint, with only the HAL-like computer "Gerty" (voiced not by Drew Barrymore, which would have been a nice touch, but by Kevin Spacey) alleviating the isolation of his long stay in solitary; to make matters even worse, the live communication link to Earth has been down since who knows when. And clearly Sam is beginning to show signs of strain; he's prone to rambling discourses to himself, and at one point hallucinates that there's a young girl loose on the base.
While servicing one of the roaming He-3 "harvesters," he has a similar, seeming hallucination - is that another astronaut he sees wandering across the lunar surface? Distracted, he suffers a crash against the harvester, and passes out - only to seemingly re-awaken back in the base, under orders to never venture outside again. But why? What's out there? (SPOILERS AHEAD.)
If Moon seems at first to be prepping for a Solaris-style head trip, it instead settles into a low-key, but absorbing, groove as a kind of Silent Running-meets-Blade Runner thriller - one in which the machines and the replicants turn out to be the heroes, btw. For I suppose it's giving away no surprises at this point to reveal that Sam isn't what he appears to be; he's a clone - the latest, apparently, of many that "the company" has used to maintain its isolated moonbase. Once these corporate overlords get wind of Sam's discoveries, however, they announced a "rescue mission" is on its way - one that the "Sams" realize is more like a search-and-destroy mission.
From then on, Moon only lightly touches on the themes it seems to have raised regarding the humanity of clones - although it does grow steadily more affecting, as the Sams realize that everything about them (their memories, their ideas, even their "relationships" back home) has been implanted by the company. I felt, in fact, that the movie could have pushed a little harder on this most resonant of its themes - that all of us today depend on corporations for our identities. Still, I was happy to settle for the variant on The Great Escape that Moon became, as the Sams attempt to ingeniously elude their corporate fate. I don't want to overrate this worthy little project - it's essentially a good first feature (by the talented Duncan Jones). But it's certainly worth catching on Netflix. And the fact that it was ignored by the Oscars almost feels like a seal of approval (and another reason to ignore that silly telecast).