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03-19-2009, 20:14
The Best Movie at SXSW: 'Moon'

Christopher Kelly - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

<!--end #title--> Mar 16, 2009
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Patient, cerebral and moody aren't necessarily qualities that sell in today's hyped-up movie marketplace. But moviegoers willing to give the wonderful sci-fi drama Moon a chance will likely find themselves amply rewarded. It's arguably the best movie showing at the South by Southwest Film Festival this year.
Screening for a packed house at the Paramount Theater on Saturday night -- it had previously premiered in January at Sundance -- Moon certainly requires some patience. For most of the running time, there is only one actor on screen.
But that actor is the chameleonic Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Frost/Nixon), who plays a fascinating dual role: A man in the final weeks of a three-year-long mission to the moon, where's he's been mining helium for energy; and that man's clone, a stronger, fitter, faster version who may or may not be plotting against his doppelganger.
Moon draws on obvious influences like 2001 (Kevin Spacey voices Gerty, a slightly creepy computer obviously modeled on HAL) and Alien, but it's shot through with beautiful photography and a haunting musical score by Clint Mansell. And Rockwell's performance is simply a knockout -- a technical tour-de-force that steadily turns more and more affecting.
At the question and answer session after the film, first-time director Duncan Jones (whose father is David Bowie) literally bounced onto the stage in a bright yellow space suit. He implored the audience to spread the word on this small-budgeted movie of giant ambitions.
Sony Classics is rolling the dice on this challenging movie in June. Here's hoping there's an audience out there for it.