Who's In it: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, Meggan Lennon, Bruce Colbert, Jordan Baker, Flint Beverage
The Basics (Spoiler Heavy): Rhoda (Marling) is one of those high schoolers that has a magnificent future ahead of her. She's gorgeous, smart, and people like her even though the like is tinged with hate because she's so awesome. One night, when scientists have discovered another Earth in the sky, she drives drunk and puts an abrupt halt to her aforementioned future. She crashes into a car that holds John's (William Mapother) family, and she kills all of them but John. When she gets released from prison, she seeks to rebuild her life, and she does that by cleaning both the local school and John's house. When the same scientists, still working hard, discover that the other Earth is populated with alternate versions of everyone living on the original Earth, she gets the idea to go there and escape her pain. So much for rebuilding.
What's The Deal: This is the coolest science fiction movie I have seen in a long time, because it's just masquerading as a story about a new planet with bizarro versions of us. The script is heavy with moral questions that it refuses to answer, which makes it an interesting study along the lines of In the Bedroom--only when Rhoda walks down the street in her jumpsuit, quietly agonizing over the things she's done, there's a big old planet hanging in the background. It's a fertile scenario for discussion, which is why I enjoyed it. The movie and its performers have a quiet confidence that assumes the audience has some brains, which always makes me like a movie more.
Here's My Opinion: I completely understand the drive to alleviate pain that you've caused someone else through any means necessary. In fact, the drive to do can short-circuit the brain and make logic float far, far away. That is the case in this film, and although I would never go so far as to say that the main character is a horrible person, I would say that she needs more self awareness. The problem with going to great lengths to make someone feel better is that the drive to do so is selfish, and that is why Rhoda won't win my popularity contest (if you want to enter, entries are still being accepted). That said, this film is well directed and acted, looks beautiful, and the characters are spellbinding. It should stand the test of time, so when we discover a real life other Earth, we can watch it on the instant Netflix in our retinas and it will feel shiny and new.