This film. Wow. I have never been so completely blown away by a film. This is the film that slams every argument I've had with myself about entertainment passing itself off as genuine heartfelt art.
Another Earth seems to be about so many things, and yet not about them at all: you could say it's about loss, tragedy, physics, science fiction, consequences, redemption...and yet none of these things, singly or combined add up to what this film is. Simply put, it's a masterpiece of intricacy. I'm not really a film person - I'm a books-person - and for me, this film hit all those spots that only a handful of incredible books have reached. The way the scene concentrated so intensely on the moment, on everything about it - the texture of a wall, the space taken up by silence, the smallest nuances of expression, the play of light - every detail came together and gave it so many dimensions that you could watch each minute over and over and it would still be worth watching. The saw scene: so visceral and immediate and breathstopping (where that is a cross of heartstopping and breathtaking)...what a magnificent piece of work.
I loved that silence was given such a significant part. I think a lot of films are let down not necessarily by poor dialogue, but by oversaturating, so that the spoken so heavily overlays the visual that each diminishes the other. I also resent the overuse of music solely for mood manipulation (I realise there is an equal and opposite argument to that, but I'm on the less-is-more side): the fact that at the most emotive moments, there is no music at all, and all you can hear is your own breathing - that is when cinema is at its most powerful.
To quickly visit the entire premise of 'another earth'...this isn't Independence Day or anything like it. It's nothing like it at all. If you go away thinking 'what has another duplicate earth really got to do with it at all?' then the answer is, as always, nothing and everything. It's a story that in many ways circles back on itself, and you finally understand that it's about *patterns*, the patterns that underlay everything - the rules of the universe, people, action and consequence, tragedy and coping, truth and lies.
Finally, a quick summary: On the night a new planet is discovered, Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling, and what a work of art she is, in every sense) is involved in a car accident. She lives every day with the knowledge of having done something unforgivable, and is unable to forgive herself. She sets out to find herself some kind of forgiveness, and when she seeks out the only person who can give her it, she is drawn into his world, with consequences she never imagined.