3 1/2 Stars
For anyone looking for a real science fiction flick, this isn’t it. It’s firstly and foremost a character drama set against the backdrop of the discovery of another celestial planet that mirrors Earth to a T. This movie would be equally as excellent without the sic-fi elements, but they are such a great addition to this story I wouldn’t want to see it without them. While Earth 2 is discovered, it is unexplored during this film’s running-time, except for audio contact with the mirrored humans inhabiting it. Another Earth has a very reigned in Richard Kelly feel to its subdued sci-fi flare.
Actress and indie darling Brit Marling is a double threat here, not only creating one of the most spellbinding performances I’ve seen in awhile, but also co-scripting one of the most interesting stories to come out of the indie scene. She and director Mike Cahill brilliantly incorporate the Earth 2 discovery into a much smaller story making it an integral, but not overpowering, part of the picture. The idea of such a small story happening during such a large event has intrigued me for quite sometime, and I’m glad that this is the film that brought it to fruition.
It’s rare to see an actor or actress on screen that is so mesmerizing and in the moment that it doesn’t seem like there’s a camera in the room. Marling is uninhibited in her role as Rhoda, letting us into her world without any feeling of intrusion. Mike Cahill directs scenes filled with a cold starkness in the beginning that slowly ease into warmer and uplifting moments. It’s clear that there are little to no accidents in this film, everything has a meticulously thought out feel, yet comes across as new and fresh. William Mapother’s John goes through a similar arc as Marling’s Rhoda, which helps make later developments in their relationship more realistic. The two play well off each other on-screen, there were many moments with a little tension as I wondered if John had seen through Rhoda’s ruse. Mapother played the character on the edge of his seat, wanting to put out of his mind his terrible loss, but it always seemed to be written all over his face.
Incredibly acted, amazingly written and wonderfully directed Another Earth is a film I’ll be recommending for years to come.
Director: Mike Cahill
Stars: Brit Marling, William Mapother