Another Earth

When researching this film, I saw that it was shown at Sundance Film Festival, and won a prize of some sort. I was expecting big things from this, especially when considering the rather grandiose implications of the main plot point of the film.

An Earth-like planet is discovered in space, slowly approaching our own world. Upon the night of this discovery, a girl genius, just accepted at a prestigious university, drives home from a party, drunk. She hears the news on the radio, and looks up, seeing Another Earth in the night sky…then causes a car crash, killing the wife and son of a composer. As she is a minor, her identity is kept secret, but she still serves time in prison.

Upon her release, overcome with guilt at what she has done, she journeys to the composer’s house, wanting to confess it was her, but then chickens out, and instead pretends to be a housemaid. We are then treated to a housework montage. The next thing I know, the faux housemaid and composer are almost hooking up, I don’t think I missed anything, maybe another montage of the girl cleaning something, so why on Earth they got so close was never explained fully.

Eventually, we learn the newly-christened Earth 2 is inhabited by people identical to us in every way – up until the night it appeared in the sky. From that point, the histories of the two Earths diverged and became the opposite of one another.

This film promised much, and delivered nothing. The idea of another Earth appearing in the sky within communication range was truly interesting, and despite the film being named after this very concept, this idea was hardly touched upon at all! The one point at which the second Earth becomes key to the plot and the film becomes interesting is the last ten seconds of the film. I’m not even being harsh, I’m being literal.

I soon discovered that the prize it won at Sundance was ‘film featuring a scientific theme’. Not that hard a prize to win, obviously. The science was incorrect too, (the gravity of another planet so close to the Earth would tear them both apart), so why even use a scientific theme if you’re not going to do basic research, AND it’s not key to the film?

Do not watch this film.

[Joseph Nelson]

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