Once again, in my unending search for the perfect, unheard of indie I’ve uncovered a pretty good gem amongst the typical flotsam and jetsam of low-bug, handheld student flicks. Today we look at: “Another Earth“.
Recently I wrote about the much more famed piece “Melancholia” which was backed by huge names like Lars Von Trier, Kirsten Dunst and Kiefer Sutherland. It looked at the psychological crumbling of a bipolar princess as her loved ones struggled to keep her sane while a giant planet came crashing towards the Earth. An interesting melange of themes and scenarios, “Another Earth” is not too dissimilar. In our indie, we follow a brilliant and beautied ex-con after she does her time for drunken vehicular manslaughter. Though the typical approach to this story would have her life post the big joint viewed as tragic and difficult, in this movie there is a familiar but unique twist that suddenly a parallel Earth has appeared next to our own and seems to have nearly identical inhabitants leading nearly identical lives… Okay, it sounds a BIT hokey, but I promise “it gets better”!
This film is actually written by the actor that portrays its fallen protagonist: the genius blond drunk driver turned janitor as she attempts to make secret amends with the man of the family she destroyed so many years ago. That’s all I’m gonna give away for now, but needless to say that romantics, dramatists and even sci-fi geeks will all get something from this flick.
The acting is controlled and very realistic though to be fair most of the emotions range from the depressed to the even more depressed to at times ambivalent ha. This is no action packed piece but it does question the purpose and result of jail as a method of “teaching a lesson” where it seems much more the human contact with those we’ve hurt is the true tool of punishment and change. The cinematography is no where near as funded as Lars’ piece and yet we never feel gypped for the lack of benjamins being thrown at the work. Instead, director Mike Cahill depends upon the story itself and the subtle acting abilities of the limited cast to bring to life what is otherwise a slower and sad piece.
I absolutely recommend this to all cinephiles, especially if like me you feel like you’ve seen everything Hollywood has to offer these days and want a taste of what will likely be some rising stars, especially one Miss Marling. Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think!