Plot-Directed by first time director Mike Cahill, Another Earth is the story of hopeful 17 year old soon to be MIT student Rhoda. From the outset of the film, we know Rhoda does not seem to fit in, Even in her own existence she seems to be on the outside looking in. When news of a duplicate planet hits, she sees a blue dot in the sky that she becomes so fascinated with. When she goes for a drive and decides to get lost in the image of this planet, she seems to quit paying attention to the road. And, on a moment’s notice, she becomes involved in a tragic traffic accident. She puts a man in a coma, and kills his wife and kid. After spending 4 years in jail for this crime she committed as a minor, she is set free. Upon release, the second earth is no longer a blue dot but a planet in plain sight. Rhoda no longer the 17 year old college hopeful, is now a very lost soul who does not know where she fits in with the whole scheme of things. You get the feeling almost immediately she regrets this tragic accident that she caused. When she watches the news and finds out John Burroughs has awaken from his coma, she wants to go and tell him she is so sorry about what happened that fateful night. But, instead she lies to him and becomes his new house cleaner and thru his loss and her pain for causing it, they become friends and then lovers. The whole while Rhoda has become so fascinated with this other earth that she enters a essay contest to win a trip to it. Will she ever tell John who she is and what brought them together and what will become of this other planet?
Review-I think Fox Searchlight has two identities. The one that has to make all these mid life crisis films, and the one that is on the cutting edge of some films that will be talked for a long time. This film is a art house theater wet dream. From the first scene in the film to the head scratching get them talking ending, this film is a cult masterpiece. Brit Marling ( who also co wrote the film) is a star in the making, she gives the performance of a lifetime that oscar cannot ignore. You feel for her just from her expressions and her fate without her asking you to or making you, when the tragedy happens, she seems so innocent in her actions and just the stare at the dead boy dead in the street. You just know how fast things in life can change. And when she gets out of jail, and she works in a school cleaning, you just know she is meant for bigger things and that you almost get frustrated that she takes this job and just puts her life on hold. When she tries to connect with John, and you know she wants to tell him so bad, you see it on her face all the time that she is carrying around this guilt. She is the glue in this film that makes it all work. The dialogue and script are almost unnecessary. The score and camera work, are so breath taking and just passionate, you almost forget that there is dialogue at times. This film addresses a lot of issues, one is the fascination with what is out there and are we truly alone. When, they find out this other earth, has duplicate versions of us, this film opens another train of thought, ” what would we say, if we met another version of ourselves”. This film is message heavy without being preachy. It never asks you to feel sorry for her or for John, it asks you to understand them. This film is raw, emotional, and groundbreaking. It feels like I discovered a film that will be talked about for the next decade.
When it comes Oscar time in March, I really hope they give this film a chance, though I feel it is too odd for them to even consider, and that would be a shame…This is a film that people need to see esp. fans of just film and storytelling.
10 out of 10