Silent Running ★★★★

This was a rewatch long overdue and I'm glad I still loved this film.

This is perhaps not a full out Science Fiction film in terms of visuals and action, but at its core it is one of the prime examples of what the genre is all about for me. It is the idea, the conceit that has to be strong and this one is just wonderful. A man in space taking care of Earth's last vegetation. The plot and narrative are straightforward. The conflict within the story comes when Dern's character is told that the project is no longer funded. He decides to do what he can to save the plants under his care.

Simplicity is sometimes key to telling a story and that is certainly true here. What makes this film really wonderful though are two things, Bruce Dern's performance and the big thumping heart he gives to this film. Dern is amazing. Had he not brought his a-game this film wouldn't have worked this well. His maniacal passion could easily have turned into annoying hippie ramblings and while this mindset was probably injected into the script, Dern's resounding humanity makes his plight so compelling.

There is also a welcome lighthearted warmth in this film that makes its meandering pace easy to digest. And while its eco friendly message was part of a prominent lifestyle back in the day, it is frighteningly accurate these days.

A clear source of inspiration for films like Moon and Wall-E, this is one of my favourites in the genre.

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