Review of Across the Universe by Beth Revis here
20th Century Fox
November 29, 2011
Celebrating her acceptance to college, 17-year-old Rhoda Williams is driving drunk when she causes a fatal car accident. Distracted by a blue dot in the sky that has just been identified as another Earth, a duplicate planet to ours, she hits the car of a family.
Four years later, Rhoda is released from prison. Still plagued by remorse she tries to find a way to apologize to the man who's wife and child she killed - and ends up as his maid. With very little information shared between them he has no idea she is the girl who killed his family and she tries to help his depressed life.
All this against the backdrop of scientists and the world discovering more and more about our mirror planet and Rhoda entering and essay contest to travel to the other Earth.
Another Earth is definitely an introspective film. It's very much about space travel and doppelgangers and personal choices and where they lead us. Having Rhoda's (Brit Marling) story - specifically her journey after leading prison and involvement with John (William Mapother) - parallel the developments/discoveries about the other Earth is a fantastic way to tell a story.
It doesn't give the space travel, here-are-the-other-planet's-people angle that would have made for a good but different movie - but it does give you a movie where very different things happen simultaneously (yet parallel to) so that they each help develop the other. Often without it being realized.
Brit Marling (who also is one of the film's writers and producers) is fantastic as Another Earth's star. I haven't seen her in anything else, but it's easy easy to believe she's just as seasoned as any other big-named star in any other movie. She doesn't have a lot of dialogue in most of the film, (nor do a lot of the actors, frankly - it's a not a very talky talky movie, the words count in this movie) but her emotions and actions tell the story in the silences, too.
The lack of superfluous dialogue is one of the things that makes this film really enjoyable. All of the actors' words matter and when they're not talking, that matters, too. It talkes talented actors to carry a film when there's not always something to say.
The lighting (a lot of blue tones) in the movie was really pretty and added to a mood. The music, a score almost all by Fall on Your Sword was a little bit different but really enjoyable and fit the feel of the movie and interacted well with the scenes.
After first seeing something about this movie on CBS's Sunday Morning last summer, I'm really glad to have seen this movie and hope you'll check it out, too.
Also on the disc:
Previews: Two great previews - one for The Descendants (longer than any I've seen and definitely made me want to see it) & another for The Art of Getting By which is also on my list now
Extras: Deleted Scenes; Three Fox Movie Channel Presents features; The Science Behind Another Earth; Creating Another Earth; Theatrical Trailer; Another Earth Soundtrack Info; Sneak Peek; Fall on Your Sword Music Video ("The First Time I Saw Jupiter");
thank you to ThinkJam for my copy of the movie