Watching Lars Von Trier's Melancholia, about an approaching planet led me to this movie made around the same time.
As Another Earth begins, we are introduced to a bright, attractive young girl with a brilliant future, with an interest in the Cosmos, and she has just got into MIT.
When another earth with the same continents and oceans appears in the sky, people get excited, some are nervous. As she drives along that night, a radio announcer talks excitedly about the new planet, while a father, pregnant mother, and five year old child sit talking in a parked car. Momentarily, she looks skyward. You can probably imagine what happens.
Now we have a woman whose life is but a walking shadow. After some time she returns to the world. But her star has somewhat diminished. Although she says little me may infer that she has unresolved grief and guilt which cripples her from moving forward in life. She takes a job that requires little human contact, as a cleaner.
Returning to the scene, she discovers the husband, and contrives to meet him and seek forgiveness.
Discoveries about the other earth may make you wonder if there are people like you on this other earth, mirrors to ourselves, mirroring our events or not. Such possibilities offer the hope of redemption, although others find it frightening.
As the husband continues to contend with his waterlogged grief, his withdrawal, and limitations of his previous musical abilities, we see no way for her to broach this subject. Meanwhile, a Branson like entrepeneur offers a select few a free trip to the other earth.
My favorite scene in the movie is when she tells the husband the story of the first cosmonaut, a healing metaphor, and so perhaps if she cannot reveal herself she may be able to heal him in other ways. I watched this scene over and over. We wonder how it will all turn out.
I found this movie to be very beautiful. It has won several awards, including two Sundance Awards, the Special Jury Prize, and an acting award for Brit Marling, a young actress who struggled to obtain acting jobs in Hollywood, and had the novel idea of writing a movie for herself with cowriter and director Michael Hall.
In doing so, they have crafted a wonderful movie. As an actress she delivers a very subtle and nuanced performance. In three scenes in a row near the begininning she says very little, but she conveys a tremendous amount without words, and she has a certain beauty, let's face it, that, if you're like me, grows on you as you watch the movie. Another earth looks like an expensive movie, yet was made on a shoestring, causing director and actress to be very resourceful. To obtain a shot of her walking out of a prison, she walked in pretending to be a yoga instructor, there to give a class to inmates. When she walked out he got the shot.
I was hugely impressed with this movie, the acting, writing, directing, the visual effects of the other planet. William Mapother, who you may remember as Ethan from Lost, or the villain from In the Bedroom plays the husband. Certainly, I liked this movie much better than Melancholia.
Now, I would watch any movie featuring Brit Marling or made by Michael Hall. I think you will love it, and I hope this was helpful.
Another Earth is unworldly, economical, sad, hopeful, fulfilling. Maybe. Seventeen-year-old Rhonda Williams (Bret Marling) is a bright kid with a promising future. She’s part of a nice, middle-class family. She also is sometimes wild and irresponsible. When she drives off in the family car one night, she’s drunk. She crashes head on into a car driven by the composer and teacher, John Burroughs (William Mapother). The crash kills Burroughs’ pregnant … more
'Another Earth' is the kind of movie that deserves some pondering and a second look. There's a tptation to pigeon hole our expectations into making this a great space adventure, but it's not. It is science fiction, but if my memoty serves me correctly from high school, this is soft (i.e. read social issues based, rather than hard (i.e. read science technology based) science fiction voyage. Some can be both, and this one is also both, but is far more the former than the latter. Cosmic … more
FADE IN: Spoiled brat Brit Marling is driving home shitfaced listening to the exposition on the radio when she sees Another Earth in the sky. CUT TO another car containing a perfect family. WILLIAM MAPOTHER Holy shit, this family's so nuclear I'm amazed Iran hasn't tried to weaponize it. Brit Marling like totally runs a light or something and wipes out the nuclear family's car - KA-POW! - even though … more
***1/2 out of **** I know, I know; "Another Earth" is not, in the slightest, an easy film to like. It is depressing, slow, and somber; enhanced by the moody cinematography of its maker. But the writer and director, Mike Cahill, has made a film that isn't easy to like also very easy to admire; and I consider that to be some kind of achievement. It may not be great one; but regardless, Cahill has made a film that quenched my thirst for intrigue. It's daring, it's brilliant, … more
Star Rating: Perhaps it’s both the greatest strength and the biggest weakness of Another Earth that it’s open to interpretation. On the one hand, you’re not bound by the constraining intentions of the filmmakers; you’re free to put your own spin on the plot, the characters, and the imagery. On the other hand, if you have no narrative guidelines to fall back on, you may paradoxically be constrained by the latitude you’re given. I … more
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