At the heart of low-budget indie film Another Earth is a familiar tale of guilt and redemption, yet first-time director Mike Cahill and co-writer and star Brit Marling give the material a thought-provoking twist by wrapping their story in the guise of a sci-fi allegory.
An identical second Earth has appeared in the heavens, but on the night it comes into sight Marling’s promising astrophysics student, Rhoda, drunkenly crashes into a car, killing the wife and child of composer John (William Mapother). Released from prison four years later, the guilt-stricken Rhoda offers the grieving widower her services as a house cleaner, without revealing her tragic connection to him. Meanwhile, the chance of taking a trip to the second Earth offers the possibility of undoing the past.
Winner of a pair of prizes at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Another Earth doesn’t fully come off – the slow pace stops it achieving escape velocity – but the intriguing ideas and Marling’s touching performance make it a promising debut.
Movie Talk star rating:
Released on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday 2nd April by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
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