Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Critic’s Pick: Another Earth 

click to enlarge COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo

Rhoda Williams was never enthralled with outer space. Never, until she saw Jupiter’s clouds in motion, swirling, like just-poured cream in a cup of coffee. “I felt like anything was possible,” she says in voiceover, “and it was.”

The night Earth 2 appeared in the sky, somewhere between our earth and the moon, 17-year-old Rhoda (Brit Marling) was driving home from a very — how shall I say? — non-provincial party. She had been accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, but, transfixed on the celestial orb, wavy tresses waving, limbs languid (the lush), she was no more than a stricken, wide-eyed child. And that’s when she struck another vehicle — populated by a beautiful nuclear family, viewed courtesy of a crane shot through their automobile’s moonroof.

After four years in the slammer, Rhoda is released, Earth 2 still in sight and still an enigma. Every generation has their “I remember where I was when ... ” event (Kennedy assassination, 9/11); for Rhoda’s generation, that event is the emergence of Earth 2, and she remembers where she was: killing all but one member of a family. Guilty, gorgeous, and strong-featured, Rhoda takes a job as a school janitor, where her work jumpsuit is about as obscuring as a space suit.

Eventually, her curiosity gets the better of her and she approaches the home of the one survivor of the crash — the father. (Because she was a minor at the time of the accident, her identity was never released.) He’s once-successful composer John Burroughs, played by William Mapother, who some will remember best as Tom Cruise’s cousin playing that creep on LOST. Posing as a maid, she infiltrates his pathetic life (when they first meet his shirt is stained with alcohol-induced vomit), and her feeble attempt at atonement becomes a friendship.

Earth 1 attempts to contact Earth 2, and the inhabitants of our planet’s twin turn out to be just what I have implied in using the word “twin.” But therein lies the interest of the film. It’s full of sci-fi atmosphere, eeriness, and philosophical questions instead of aliens and explosions. If an alternate earth exists — rather than the more popular full-on alternate universe — are our others condemned to our same fate? Do they suffer the consequences of our actions here? A Richard Branson type organizes a voyage to Earth’s duplicate and the passengers may well find out.

Another Earth

Dir. Mike Cahill; writ. Brit Marling, Mike Cahill; feat. Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach. (PG-13)


Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation