Sometimes, there are films that stick with you, that leave you feeling like what you just saw was worth every penny you paid for it and then some. There are films that make you consider what you would do in similar circumstances. Gone Baby Gone was one. Another Earth is another.
The film follows an attractive and brilliant young lady, Rhoda Williams, who, while drunk, crashes her car into a Yale professor’s, killing his pregnant wife and five-year-old son. On the night this happens, another duplicate of Earth has appeared in the sky. The other 95 per cent of the film follows Rhoda and the professor as their paths intersect and how it plays into the appearance of “Earth 2.”
Another Earth, like the best science fiction, isn’t so much about the sci-fi elements as it is about the characters and how they deal with real issues. It uses Earth 2 as a symbol of hope, of second chances where there are usually none. In fact, the appearance of the duplicate planet is never explained, which not only saves a whole lot of exposition, but also prevents you from getting sidelined by astronomical debates (for the record, a planet coming that close would fuck Earth’s shit up).
It’s not a perfect movie, however. There are some odd camera shots here and there that, at one point, went so far as to completely rip the viewer completely out of the scene. Whoever was in charge of the cinematography seemed to want to make the viewer uneasy, and mostly succeeded, but sometimes only succeeded in being annoying as hell.
Easily the best science fiction (though I am hesitant to use that term as it doesn’t fully describe it) to come out since Moon, this movie is absolutely worth taking in. Both Moon and Another Earth could serve as a lesson – science fiction doesn’t need giant budgets to make for compelling watching.