Another Earth (Cahill, 2011)
This review contains heavy spoilers (1st paragraph).
Easily the most haunting and lingering ending to a film I’ve seen in a while. To have so much hope pushed to the forefront only to have it shattered in the matter of a split second before the film cuts to credits is gut-wrenching. It reminds us that sometimes all the hope in the world doesn’t always equal a happy ending. Perhaps the most tragic part, though, is that if these characters really thought through the situation, they could have realized that even the happy ending they were seeking isn’t all that positive. (If his family is alive on Earth 2, is he even going to be able to be involved in their lives?)
But putting the ending aside, even the film up to that point is very good. I wouldn’t call this the redemption tale that most are calling it. There’s attempted redemption (twice actually), but things actually become worse the more the protagonist tries to make them better. Shot mostly in a realistic, hand-held style, this science fiction film is more of a drama than anything. We become much more involved in watching this girl try so hard to rid herself of guilt than we do the lingering sci-fi element that has more of a hovering effect than anything. (It’s almost scary how similar this is to Melancholia in style and way it mixes genres.) With a better lead male actor and a slightly more careful plot, this is one of the best 3 of the year. 9/10