This sci-fi tinged indie drama is now playing at the Colony Theater in Raleigh, and the Galaxy Cinema in nearby Cary:
“Another World” (Dir. Mike Cahill, 2011)
Director Mike Cahill and actress Brit Marling’s feature film debut, which they also co-wrote, has an intriquing premise: what if a dupicate world to ours, one that contains doppelgangers of every single person on the planet, was revealed after hiding behind the sun all this time?
Marling plays a young woman just accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program who hears about the phenomenal discovery on the radio driving home drunk after a party. She looks to the sky to see it, causing a major automobile accident which kills a woman and her child, while putting the father (William Mapother) into a temporary coma.
After Marling is imprisoned for involutary manslaughter for 4 years, she is released and takes a job as a janitor at a local high school, as news about what is now called “Earth 2” blares from every radio and television in her radius.
Wracked by guilt, Marling tracks down Mapother (best known as Ethan from “Lost”) to apologize for her tragic crime, but she freezes in the moment at his country home, and tells him she’s from a cleaning service. Oblivious to her identity, the despondent Mapother hires her, and a bond forms between the two, despite the stickiness of the situation.
The stretches stretches dealing with these lost souls’ egg shell existence are lengthy enough to almost make one forget the fantastical Earth 2 scenerio, but many shots of the mirror earth looming in the sky above keep reminding us (the film is low budget, but this effect is fairly convincing).
Marling enters a contest to win a seat aboard a shuttle to Earth 2 as she struggles with how or when to confess to Mapother. Things get more tangled as a possible romance blooms between them.
“Another Earth” can be ponderous as it pussyfoots a little too much about getting to the meat of the matter, but its not pretentiously contrived. It’s thoughtfully engaging at its best, and just drags slightly at its worst.
Through their touching on-point performances, the leads’ fascination with the lives of their doubles can be sincerely felt in such moments when Mapother says: “I can’t stop thinking about it; another me up there.”
You won’t be able to stop thinking about it either. Well, at least for a day or two. And these days moviewise, that’s a very good thing indeed.
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