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Another Earth


Stars: William Mapother, Brit Marling

Director: Mike Cahill

A strange little film which starts four years before the main action. A 17-year-old girl driver (Marling), high on alcohol and fascinated by a blue dot in the midnight sky that represents a newly-discovered planet, crashes head-on into another car, killing a mother and child and putting the composer husband (Mapother, real-life brother of Tom Cruise) in a coma.

Four years later, the girl, Rhoda, is released from prison and becomes a school cleaner. Seeking penance, she locates her victim and begins cleaning house for him. Meanwhile, the blue dot has become a fully-fledged and highly visible planet. It would seem to be a parallel world, with the same things happening as on Earth.

A space mission is planned with room for passengers, and Rhoda applies. Like of lot of things in this interesting but odd and rather arty film, the ending is quite confusing and should give rise to some absorbing discussions among those still awake. Marling and Mapother are perfectly fine as the protagonists, even if pregnant pauses in the narrative are rather too frequent for comfort.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour by Harbor Films.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 06 Dec 2011