- Chris Weitz
A thick, yellow moon slowly transforms into the title “New Moon.”
We hear Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart)’s voice, quoting Friar Lawrence from “Romeo and Juliet”: “These violent delights have violent ends..” and, although we don’t know it yet, she is having a nightmare. She fights through a crowd of group of red cloaked strangers in the noon-day sun. She looks up to see a clock tower and the big hand that moves to 12:00. Suddenly she emerges from the woods into a glade of flowers, looking across to her grandmother (Christina Jastrzembska). Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) comes up behind Bella. She tries to warn him away, “Don’t. She’ll see you.” He keeps approaching, however. She seems to welcome his decision to reveal himself and, as she takes his hand says, “Okay.” They approach Bella’s Grandma and Bella says, “Gran, I’d like you to meet Edward,” but the words come out of the older woman, as well as Bella. She realizes it is her, older, wrinkled, and her Grandma is really her reflection, standing next to an eternally youthful Edward. He leans over and kisses her wrinkled forehead.
Charlie (Billy Burke), Bella’s father, wakes her up from the nightmare. She’s fallen asleep reading “Romeo and Juliet.”
He wishes Bella a happy birthday. He gives her two gifts, a digital camera from him, and a scrapbook from her mother. She protests weakly as she’d thought they’d agreed that she wasn’t going to get any presents. He jokes that she is obsessed with aging and points out a grey hair on her head. Bella scurries to the mirror, relieved that he was kidding.
As Bella drives to school in her old brick red, beat-up Chevrolet truck (license plate 24G-7HI) the radio relays that three hikers are missing, presumed dead. When she arrives at the parking lot she talks to her friends, Jessica, Mike, Angela, and Eric, all of who seem to know nothing of her birthday. She takes a picture of them as Edward drives up in the parking lot in a brand-new, black Volvo 2010 X60 (license plate 57F-6D3). The rest of the group depart when he arrives. Edward wishes her a happy birthday. Bella tells him shes not very happy about it. She’s eighteen now, which is a year older than him. Edward discounts her worry. After all, hes 109. They kiss passionately but he breaks away, saying that they need to go to class. He also stops her because Jacob wants to see her, even though he hasn’t arrived yet.
When he does Edward backs away. Bella marvels at the changes that have come over Jacob (Taylor Lautner), teasing him about taking anabolic steroids. He too gives Bella a gift. It’s a dreamcatcher, a woven band meant to keep bad dreams away. “That’s kinda perfect,” says Bella, reflecting on her nightmare. Jacob departs.
Edward asks Bella why Jacob Black can give her gifts but he cannot. She tells him the reason is that she cannot give him back anything.
In the hallway of the school the rest of the school-age Cullen clan arrive. Though Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) is glad to see her, Jasper Cullen (Jackson Rathbone) remains aloof, staring at her from the other side of the hallway. Alice gives her a present which, using her vampire ability of augury, tells Bella she will love. She also invites Bella to a birthday party they’re going to have for her that night, which starts at 7:00. Bella agrees but then realizes that Jasper has altered her mood to make her happily agree and gently chides him for it.
In class Edward and Bella are talking during the movie that is being shown. Edward says how doesn’t like Romeo because he is so quick to act after he sees Juliet dead, but he is jealous of him for one reason. Bella believes this to be of Juliet, but he says it is of the ease of suicide humans have, since it is almost impossible for vampires. He later tells Bell that he began to think along these lines when he thought Bella might not have survived the attack by James a few months before. He says he would have gone and provoked the Volturi. Bella is horrified by this thought and says he should never say it again. Edwards is then questioned by their teacher, Mr. Berty, who believes he’s not been paying attention to the BBC version of “Romeo and Juliet” they’ve been watching. Edward responds by quoting Romeo’s final soliloquy from the play.
Will I set up my everlasting rest,
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! and, lips, O you
The doors of breath, seal with a righteous kiss”
This silences their teacher.
Bella goes to the Cullens’ house for a birthday party. Before the proceedings Edward and Bella stand before a painting of the Volturi, which includes Edward’s vampiric father Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli). The painting comes to life, showing an earlier time, as Edward explains that Carlisle lived with them for a few decades and that the Volturi are the closest things the vampire race has to royalty. They have no respect for human life but they do respect the arts, the sciences and, above all, the law. The Volturi have simple rules: to not make spectacles of themselves, to not kill conspicuously. The penalty for disobedience is death. During this exposition the Volturi tableau shows Aro (Michael Sheen), the supposed leader, Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl) who has long-flowing black hair, and Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower), who has long-flowing white hair, taking a transgressor, laying their hands upon him, and tearing him apart as Carlisle turns away, disturbed.
Edward has broken the law by telling Bella, a human, too much. He also predicts that Victoria will come for him some day. Bella tells Edward that they would never have to think about this if he would turn her into a vampire. He says firmly that won’t ever happen.
All are gathered in the main hall. Rosalie Cullen (Nikki Reed) gives her a necklace, which she claims was all Alice’s idea. Then Emmett (Kellan Lutz) gives her an empty box, but tells her that he has already installed a new sound system in her beat-up truck (“Don’t hate the truck,” jokes Bella) . As she opens another gift from Carlisle and Esme, Bella gets a paper cut and a drop of her blood lands on the carpet. Jasper immediately lunges for her, unable to resist the temptation of her blood. Edward protectively throws Bella back against a glass table and repels Jasper, throwing him backward into a piano. Jasper comes on, mad for her blood, but he’s stopped by Edward, Carlisle and Emmett. Bella’s right arm is seriously cut by the shards. Even Alice seems tempted by the sight and smell of her blood and apologetically has to excuse herself. Carlisle also has to order Edward out, who stands transfixed by the bleeding sight of Bella, several feet away, with the excuse that only he can talk to Jasper, who must now be ashamed of his actions.
Carlisle takes her to get stitches in his office. Bella asks him how he can resist her. “Practice,” he tells her. She asks him why he does it, and he says he wants to help people, even if he is “damned regardless.” She does not understand what he means. “Like hell?” she presses, insisting this is impossible. Carlisle tells her of the belief that vampires do not have souls. Bella realizes that is why Edward will not change her. “Imagine the reverse,” Carlisle says, “if you could take away his soul.” He burns her blood in a bowl.
Afterward, Edward drives home with her in her truck. He talks about the welfare of Bella’s soul. Bella argues that he can’t always protect her. She will get ill, have an accident, and get old. If he turns her, none of this will happen. “That’s not a solution,” Edward counters, “It’s a tragedy.” Bella says she doesn’t care about her soul. But its still Bella’s birthday and she requests one last thing, that Edward kiss her. They do and Edward again has to restrain himself. They exchange vows of love.
That evening Bella prints out a photo of her and Edward. She folds the photo in half, leaving Edward’s side facing up.
The next day the Cullens are not at school. Edward comes over to Bella’s house after school before she arrives. He sees the bent photo. Bella arrives and Edward intercepts her before she gets to the house. He tells her they have to talk. After a walk some ways away on a trail in the forest, he stops and tells her that they are leaving Forks. “Carlisle is supposed to be ten years older than he looks and people are starting to notice.” Bella says that she’ll have to prepare some excuse for Charlie but when she notices that Edward isn’t picking up on the suggestion realizes he isn’t talking about taking her with them. “You don’t belong in my world,” says Edward. “I belong with you,” she retorts. “I don’t want you to come,” he continues. “If this is about my soul, take it,” she protests, “I don’t want it without you.” He gets more pointed. He can’t stay with her anymore, stating, “You’re not good for me.” He asks her to promise that she will not do anything reckless, for Charlie’s sake, and in return he promises her she will never see him again. He kisses her on her forehead and disappears. Bella runs after him and as it gets dark. Lost deep in the woods she trips and drops to the forest floor, depleted and deserted. She falls asleep sobbing. An enormous wolf watches her from a nearby rise.
Back at the Swans house (number 184) that same night, a search party is starting to form, looking for Bella. When it’s mentioned that the Cullens have left town, Charlie’s friend Harry (Graham Greene) says, Good riddance. From the woods at the edge of the house a shirtless Sam Uley (Chaske Spencer) carries Bella in his arms. He hands her over to Charlie. Harry nods to Sam in some sort of recognition.
Safe now but still depressed and unable to see or contact Edward, Bella becomes despondent for many months. She writes e-mails to Alice (at acullen@) though they all appear to be undeliverable. She screams at night, waking Charlie. Her wailing is so uncontrollable that Charlie confronts her. She is to go to Jackson because she needs a new setting. He suggests that she leave Forks. Finally, to appease her father and to stay in Washington she tells him she’s arranged to go shopping with Jessica (Anna Kendrick). Charlie finds this unlikely but is pleased that she’s doing something social.
Jessica and Bella leave a zombie film called “The Dead Come Back” (showing at 7:00 and 9:45) Bella spies a bunch of bikers in front of a bar called One-Eyed Pete’s. She recognizes them as the same gang that Edward beat up when they menaced Bella during their pre-courtship. Seeing them she also recalls Edward’s admonition not to do anything reckless and she even sees a ghostly visage of him. “Keep walking,” he says, “this is dangerous.” He then disappears. Excited, and wanting to have another visitation, she assumes that Edward will appear before her only if she’s doing something that will endanger her. She comes up to one of the seedier bikers and asks for a ride. He lets her get on and speeds down the street. Again she sees the spectral Edward, warning her not to do what she’s doing. She arrives back in one piece, much to the horror and disgust of Jessica, who states that she’s either insane or suicidal and asks her if she’s now become an adrenaline junkie.
Bella continues to write e-mails to Alice. She describes her situation as having “a hole in my chest.”
Bella renews her friendship with Jacob. She brings him two dilapidated motorcycles, asking him to help her refurbish them. Though she warns him that they’re heavy, Jacob easily lifts them from the bed of her truck. ‘You’re like, buff,’ she says, incredulous. ‘You’re like 16.” “What are you?, he retorts, “Like 40?”
As they strip and reassemble the bikes the easy friendship between Bella and Jacob grows more substantial. She smiles. He introduces her to “my two boys” Quill and Embry. They state that Jacob has been calling Bella his girlfriend. Jacob corrects them. He was calling her a girl who was a friend. Jacob and Quill wrestle.
Bella is still plagued by bad dreams, however.
As Bella drives Jacob they see some of the Quileute tribe, Sam, Paul, Embry and Jared, cliff diving. Jacob is clearly upset by them. He refers to them as “Sam and his cult,” and “Sam and his disciples.” Jake says that Embry had formerly said they were like “hall monitors on steroids” but now was one of them. “Sam keeps giving me this look, like he’s waiting for me,” Jacob says.
Once the bikes are operational Bella and Jake takes them out. Bella drives recklessly, trying to conjure up Edward’s spirit again. As she speeds along his spectral form passes by her on the road like mile markers. But she loses control of the bike. She wrecks the bike and Jacob drives his bike down the road to her accident. Bella wants to go again but she is bleeding from the head. She apologizes but then realizes that she doesn’t need to around Jake. He pulls off his shirt and dabs her head. “You’re sorta beautiful,” she says.
In the cafeteria at school Bella rejoins her old group of friends. Angela (Christian Serratos) says she saw a large wolf and the group talks about how five hikers have now been killed. Mike asks her if she would like to go to a movie. He suggests, “Love Spelled Backward Is Love.” Wanting nothing to do with romance Bella suggests “Face Punch.” Bella invites the rest of the group to go along. Everyone agrees to go to “Face Punch.”
At the theater Mike and Jacob wait outside. Jacob acts territorial as if he wants to frighten Mike away, telling him hears that “Face Punch” “sucks.” Bella arrives and explains that’s it’s just the three of them as Jessica has bailed and Angela was home with the stomach flu. They go into the movie. The films tagline is “Let’s Do This!”
As they watch the movie they hear the film’s tagline (“Lets do this!”) spoken during what sounds like a Mexican standoff onscreen. Bella looks down at the armrests on either side of her. Both Jacob and Mike have their hands on the rests, turned upward, as if waiting for her to settle her hands on theirs. The violent conflict onscreen turns Mike’s stomach, who leaves to presumably get sick.
Outside, in the lobby (where posters announce other films coming up including “Parking” and “Gambling, Gods and LSD”) Jacob tries to hold Bella’s hand. She draws away. She’s obviously conflicted. “I’m not like a car you can fix up. I’m never gonna run right,” she says. “You’re about to ruin everything and I need you,” she tells him. Jacob says that he knows what’s standing between them is Edward. He continues, “I know what he did to you. I would never, ever, do that. I won’t ever hurt you. I promise.” She puts her head on his shoulder. Mike arrives, stating that he needs to go home, claiming he was feeling sick before the movie. His weakness rankles Jacob who threatens to put him in the hospital. Bella intervenes and discovers that Jacob is burning up. Jacob is taken aback by his own aggression, says he doesn’t know what’s happening to him, and leaves in a rush.
Bella is alternately haunted by dreams and visions of Edward and her longing for the physical presence of Jacob. She leaves numerous phone messages for him, asking why he won’t return any of her calls. She is told he has mononucleosis.
Charlie and Harry get ready to go fishing. Charlie is worried about leaving her alone and she, conversely, is worried about them going out into the woods with those hulking creatures. “Bears wont get the drop on me, Bella,” Harry says, “My kung-fu is strong.”
Finally she finally decides to track down Jacob and confront him herself. When she arrives at Jacob’s house it’s raining. Jacob has indeed changed; he’s cut his hair quite short and has a tattoo. He seems ashamed of something and now, instead of trying to keep her around, warns Bella away. “I’m not good,” he says. “I used to be.” She asks if Sam and his cult have gotten to him. “Sam’s trying to help me,” counters Jacob. If she wants someone to blame for their predicament, he tells her, she can blame those filthy blood-suckers you love; the Cullens. She doesn’t know how Jacob knows that the Cullens are vampires but it unnerves her and she leaves.
Attempting to “find the place where I can see him again” Bella walks into a glade similar to the one from her early dream and discovers the vampire Laurent there. He too is looking for the Cullens and is equall