Thursday, December 22, 2011

Late Review of "Another Earth".

Another Earth.

Cast:  Brit Marling, William Mapother

Writers:  Brit Marling, Mike Cahill

Director: Mike Cahill

** and 1/2*s out of four

"Another Earth" is a great science fiction story, but it's the kind that is more focused on it's characters than it is on special effects.  This is a hard hitting drama about forgiveness, redemption and ultimately hope.  All set along side the idea of another planet similar to our own being discovered in the sky.  I just wish it wish it wasn't 92 minutes.  You could have easily told this story in under 60 and it would have been good.

Brit Marling plays Rhoda Williams.  A young woman who on the eve of going to college accidentally crashes  into a family killing at least two of the three.  This was a complete accident because this is the night that a second Earth has been shown in the sky.   Four years pass,Rhoda is released from jail and goes to live with her parents and brother.  She wants to confess her crime to John Burroughs(William Mapother),the father who survived the accident.  But when she gets there she becomes scared and tells him that she is part of a cleaning service.  Meanwhile contact is being established on the second planet and Rhoda might have a chance to travel there.

I'll give credit to it's main stars for having just the right amount of emotions for their parts.  Both actors could have easily overdone these roles and make them gimmicky and I appreciated that they didn't.  I also admire that the filmmakers didn't make the second planet the main focus of the story.  It is used mainly as a metaphor for Rhoda and John who want a second chance.   I just wish they would have edited this down to a shorter length.  There are moments with Rhoda and her family that does nothing to help develop her storyline. It just slows it down to an almost stopping point.  Also the whole relationship between Rhoda and John is formulaic and predictable. You pretty much know from the trailer that these two will eventually have a scene where they both break down.  The ending surprised me very much and it was good.  Good enough for me to give "Another Earth" a solid recommendation. 

This is the first feature from Mike Cahill and I'm interested at what other projects he will do.  Brit Marling has written two other projects that will be in theaters soon.


  1. I didn't hate Another Earth so much as I found it to have begun with a fascinating sci fi premise only to produce, ultimately, a conventional relationship film.