Film #260: ANOTHER EARTH
3.5 out of 5 stars
A fascinating character study about forgiveness… of others and of ourselves. The plot is of a young girl who, on the eve of being accepted to MIT, is involved in a drunk driving accident which kills every member of a family except the husband. The young girl is convicted of vehicular manslaughter and goes to prison. When she is paroled, she begins to put the pieces of her life back together. Coincidentally, astronomers discover a second Earth, one identical to our own. The girl, seeking forgiveness, begins to clean the home of the man who survived the accident. She falls in love, but never tells him who she is or the role she plays played in the death of his wife and children. She is accepted into a space program that is venturing to the second Earth, but she must first tell the man she’s fallen in love with who she is. The sci-fi aspect of the plot is merely a plot device that helps to focus the microscope of self-examination. The real focus of the film is how far must one go in order to be at peace with who we are and what we’ve done in our lives. The pace of the film is exceedingly slow, but… it fits the film’s themes to a tee. The film slowly, but effectively, spoon feeds pertinent character information out until its intriguing conclusion. Despite the film’s low budget, it is handled well by director Mike Cahill and deftly acted by co-writer Brit Marling as the young girl and William Mapother as the widower. Highly recommended… just don’t expect laser guns and rocket ships from this heart-felt and though-provoking film.