There's another world out there. Just like ours. You're on it. Doing the exact same thing you're doing now. Reading this review that the other me just wrote. Reading about Another Earth, the intriguing new sci-fi drama now out on Blu-ray and DVD.
In Another Earth, a planet appears in the heavens, identical in every way. The same oceans. Continents. Cities. The night the shocking discovery is revealed, an inebriated 17-year-old girl named Rhoda (Brit Marling) stares up at the sky, trying to see the other planet. While driving.
Four years later, she's released from prison and, lost and without purpose, decides to apologize to John Burroughs (William Mapother), whose family she killed that night. Unable to apologize, or even reveal who she is, she strikes up a relationship with the equally lost and troubled man.
All the while, the other earth looms, posing the question: if the other earth is the same, are the people the same? Have the same events occurred? Did Rhoda kill that family? Is John's family still alive?
Another Earth is a rare breed of film, a legitimate sci-fi picture that stays far away from aliens and explosions while remaining equally accessible to mainstream audiences. Co-written by Marling and director Mike Cahill, it's a quiet, simple film that presents a relatable story against the backdrop of something much greater and unique. The story is small but doesn't feel small, the screenplay well-written and emotionally moving.
Even though the sci-fi elements primarily serve as a backdrop, Cahill and Marling throw a few zingers into the story, too. The power of these moments make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, exemplifying just how much the two writers get it. Another Earth is an intimate character study, but it's so much more. The ending is sublime.
Marling turns in a great, understated performance. Her character is reserved and quiet, but Marling's performance simmers with emotion. Mapother ("Lost") also does a great job, his character arc equally compelling.
Your other self has already decided that Another Earth is worth seeing, which means you have, too. Your decision is correct. Another Earth is one of those movies critics like me, and my doppelganger, love, those hidden gems that go largely unnoticed by the general public. Another Earth is excellent, and my other review says the same.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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