Editor's note: this review was originally published on January 25, 2011 as a Sundance Film Festival review.
Writers: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling
Director: Mike Cahill
Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker
In times of great pain, what a comfort to imagine another world out there, a parallel universe where our biggest tragedies have just never happened, other versions of ourselves living happily unaware. But what if that other world was real? How then to ease our pains, how then to repent, how to make things right when they are right, just somewhere else? In Mike Cahill’s ANOTHER EARTH, two very broken individuals attempt to answer these questions, as a second Earth reveals itself and hangs peacefully in the sky, promising redemption that has no place on this Earth?
Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the film’s script with Cahill) was a promising young high school student, just accepted to MIT, when a night of drinking and driving led to her crashing into the Burroughs family, killing wife and son. Left behind was husband and father John Burroughs (William Mapother), also at a pinnacle in his life as a composer and professor. Both Rhoda and John are destroyed by the events of the night of the crash, incidentally (cough, or not, cough) the same night Earth 2 revealed itself in the sky. Four years later, and both are living vacant existences that are void of peace or salvation – until a misunderstanding places them in each other’s lives in a very different, very new way. (more...)