Another Earth (2011)

“What would we really like to see if we could stand outside ourselves and look at us?” Directed by Mike Cahill (in his feature film debut), Another Earth is an intriguing independent drama with sci-fi overtones that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where it received a standing ovation after the screening. I started watching the film with absolutely no expectations and I was totally blown away by its superb acting and originality. Spoiler Alert! Brit Marling stars as “Rhoda Williams,” a precocious teenager who celebrates her acceptance to MIT by getting totally shitfaced, driving home (on the night that a duplicate planet has been discovered dubbed “Earth 2” – not kidding!) and crashing her car into another vehicle stopped at an intersection, killing the family of composer “John Burroughs” (William Mapother) and placing him in a coma. After serving a four-year prison sentence, Rhoda takes a job as a high school janitor and one day decides to visit the recovering Burroughs at his rundown country home and apologize. However, she loses her nerve and, without revealing her identity, tells him that she is with a maid service and offers him a free day of housecleaning. A strong relationship soon develops between these two individuals whose lives have been totally shattered by the tragic accident. However, what will happen when her true identity is revealed? Another Earth is a thoughtful film of ideas (the concept of a parallel universe is simply mind-blowing!) and therefore not for all tastes. Filmed in and around New Haven, Connecticut, Another Earth was co-written by Cahill and Marling.

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