USA, 2011, 92 min
This accomplished near-future sci-fi drama marks another impressive collaboration between willowy actress Brit Marling and resourceful director Mike Cahill (Boxers and Ballerinas, SFIFF 2005), who collaborated on the spare, evocative script and together have created a haunting story of loss and redemption. On the night of the appearance of a duplicate Earth in the solar system, a promising young MIT astrophysics student (Marling) and an accomplished classical-music composer (William Mapother) cross paths in a tragic accident. The taut narrative picks up a few years later as the two broken and now-isolated survivors begin a halting relationship that slowly returns them to a semblance of their former selves. Some things may be beyond the power of love to redeem, however, and the couple’s journey is fraught with emotion and full of difficulty. Meanwhile, there’s that mysterious other Earth hanging over everything—another limpid blue planet, just off the shoulder of the Moon, that seemingly mirrors our own in every way, with people just like us, whose lives are intimately connected to our own. In the poignant final chapter, one of our lovers has the opportunity to travel to this nearby world and embrace a second life and a newfound, long-lost sense of home.