Film review: ‘Another Earth’
Wed, Aug 17, 2011 (6:12 p.m.)
The sci-fi trappings in the otherwise unremarkable indie drama Another Earth aren’t likely to win over fans of the genre, since director Mike Cahill and his co-writer/star Brit Marling seem to have only a passing interest in exploring futuristic concepts. Yet whatever resonance the movie does have comes directly from the poorly conceived sci-fi storyline, which finds a literal second Earth, an exact duplicate of our own, portentously hanging in the sky at all times. That alternate world represents both hope and uncertainty for Rhoda (Marling), a once-promising student who spent four years in prison for killing a woman and her young son while driving drunk. Rhoda attempts to make amends with the surviving husband and father (William Mapother), but plot contrivances keep him from knowing who she is. The alternate-world device eventually provides for a poignant, effective ending—which still can’t make up for the manipulative misery preceding it.