Another Earth

Brit Marling in Another Earth

This is the first drama feature from young American editor and documentary-maker Mike Cahill, and his low-budget, high-concept indie movie fuses intimate emotion and vast cosmic ideas: its intense drama about regret and redemption plays out in a sci-fi world that posits an alternate universe. The childhood dreams of Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling) of studying astrophysics at MIT are shattered when she causes a car accident that destroys a family and leaves a music composer, John Burroughs (William Mapother), in a coma. After four years in prison, Rhoda takes a job as a school caretaker and tries to come to terms with her past.

A visit to Burroughs’s house, during which Rhoda intends to make a heartfelt apology, ends instead with her offering him a free trial on behalf of a fictitious cleaning company. Instead of wiping the slate clean, Rhoda ends up as the composer’s cleaner, and eventually his lover – without ever revealing who she is. As this risky relationship develops, cosmic discoveries are being made: a second Earth, a replica of our own that seems to exist in a parallel time dimension, appears in the sky. Rhoda enters an essay competition to win a flight to Earth 2, pondering the philosophical question: if she can’t live with herself here, might she be able to live with another version of herself there?

Cahill’s visually inconsistent first feature tries to beam epic sci-fi concepts into a micro-human drama, refracting its thought-provoking ideas through the prism of the central emotional relationship. Sadly, it often feels over-worked and overwrought, an impression not helped by Fall On Your Sword’s irritating score and Ryan M Price’s intrusive sound design. But it’s nothing if not ambitious.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday December 2 2011
Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Mike Cahill
Screenwriter: Brit Marling, Mike Cahill
Cast: William Mapother
Matthew-Lee Erlbach
Brit Marling

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|10
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Peter Kellow

Rubbish review. Spends most of the time reciting the plot followed by ignorant opinion Agreed with the comments. An intriguing entertaining film. Loved the sound and the music and directing style. Brit Marling really good and I see she coscripted.

Peter Kellow

Rubbish review. Spends most of the time reciting the plot followed by ignorant opinion Agreed with the comments. An intriguing entertaining film. Loved the sound and the music and directing style. Brit Marling really good and I see she coscripted.

dan bloom

Such a shame that the reviewer decided to give such an ungenerous review for a film that tries to be nourishing and rewarding without falling for lazy cliches and easy traps. Cahill has made a great film here and it seems he had his hands in many areas of its production... he should be recognised for both re-imagining tired sci-fi tropes and for progressing the dialogue that independent movie making can hold with our deepest fears and feelings: a quiet and beautiful film that subtly explores loss, regret, hope and ultimately reconciliation. Bravo!.

dan bloom

Such a shame that the reviewer decided to give such an ungenerous review for a film that tries to be nourishing and rewarding without falling for lazy cliches and easy traps. Cahill has made a great film here and it seems he had his hands in many areas of its production... he should be recognised for both re-imagining tired sci-fi tropes and for progressing the dialogue that independent movie making can hold with our deepest fears and feelings: a quiet and beautiful film that subtly explores loss, regret, hope and ultimately reconciliation. Bravo!.

VioletP

Good film. The styling of Brit Marling on the poster and promotional material reminded me of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus". Clever.

Mike

I’m glad I didn’t stop to read the Nigel Floyd/Time Out review before I saw this film. (I don’t ever take notice of Floyd reviews, as they’re often inaccurate.) I thought this was a good movie. Some of the themes in this film have been explored in other movies – the perpetrator of a crime befriending the victim; parallel lives; and so on. But I thought the themes worked very well in this movie. I thought Brit Marling and William Mapother extremely well cast (though possibly Marling looks older than the 21 y/o she’s supposed to be playing). The photography and CGI of the second earth is good – and at times as haunting and breathtaking as it ought to be given influence it has on Marling’s character. This movie doesn’t concentrate on being a typical sci-fi film – the sci-fi is a secondary theme much of the time. . From the credits it looks like director Mike Cahill had a hand in pretty much everything from script, through to production – and if Wikipedia’s to be believed, for a 32 year old that’s impressive. . I’ve seen this movie twice, and liked it just as much second time round. I enjoyed the score – particularly a short piece of classical style music in which I think one of the producers - Phaedon A. Papadopoulos - had a hand. . I think some of the Time Out staff should take a long hard look at their stance on film reviews, and celebrating the achievements of younger film makers in a tough block-buster driven market. Time Out fell over itself when David Bowie’s son Duncan Jones released his first film “Moon� – which I thought was mediocre, and often very clichéd. Given how involved Mike Cahill’s been involved in this film, what he’s achieved here should be celebrated not berated – Nigel Floyd take note. 7/10 or 4 stars.

Blaize67

A nice little movie, and if you're adult and want a night out, there's not much on offer till later this month. A warning to sci-fi buffs this is not really sf. Marling is well worth watching even if the directing has clunk to it.