Another Earth

Rated PG-13 92 min. 2011

Blending science fiction and Sundance emo, Another Earth is a fascinatingly bizarre movie with a ludicrous premise. Co-written by and starring Brit Marling, it opens with precocious 17-year-old Rhoda Williams (Marling) driving home after a night of celebratory drinking. Distracted by a radio report of a newly discovered planet, Rhoda hits a car containing a Yale music professor and his family, with devastating results. In a split second, college acceptance to M.I.T. and a promising future as a scientist go out the window. After four years in prison, a hopeless, despondent Rhoda moves back home with her family, takes a job as a high school janitor, and prepares to plod through a joyless, regret-laden life. Rhoda’s only glimmer of hope is the growing prominence of Earth 2, the planet spotted in the sky four years ago that has since become an idée fixe, especially as it moves closer to the people of Earth, filling the sky like a landing Spielberg spaceship. In what sounds like a stunt staged by Virgin Airways exec Richard Branson, Rhoda dreams of winning a contest that will allow our earthlings to travel to Earth 2. Consumed by guilt over the accident, Rhoda decides to reach out to the man whose life she destroyed in that accident four years ago. In this story about grief, loss, and — yes, I said it — second chances, some of the scenes, meant to be poetic, come across as borderline ridiculous. On one hand, the film is laced with improbabilities and absurdly grandiose emotion. And on the other hand, director Mike Cahill has created a dreamy, impressionistic vision of an Earth that feels as alien as Venus.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.foxsearchlight.com/anotherearth

Director: Mike Cahill

Writer: Mike Cahill and Brit Marling

Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Ana Kayne, Meggan Lennon, Diane Ciesla, Niecy Cerise and Matthew-Lee Erlbach

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