Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Marling in 'Another Earth'

Here's a clip from Karina Longworth's review of (Brit Marling's performance in) 'Another Earth':

The film’s visual design is centered on the luminosity of her face, which truly lights up every frame it dominates, even as her performance rarely strays from a baseline pose—wide-eyed, lips slightly parted like a teenage high-fashion model’s, straddling the tenuous line between an enigma and a void. As screenwriter, Marling gives herself one climactic speech, but rather than risk asking his star to pull off a sustained performance, Cahill, in what scans as a lack of confidence in both his actress and his audience, juliennes it into a montage.

Can't argue. In trailers and especially clips Marling, though fairly adequate in a technical sense and (yes, yes) quite pretty, takes me out of the moment. She isn't quite dialed in and seems a bit self-conscious most of the time.

The premise gnaws at me as well. Need soppy and dramatic? Easy. Throw in another planet Earth complete with (the possibility of) duplicate people living duplicate lives who we might seek forgiveness from if we happen to commit some transgression against their duplicates (here on Earth 1). A bit convenient. Like: What would happen if you had a time machine that transports you back in time but you can only use it in the event you kill someone in a terrible accident and you want to go back (in time) and prevent the accident from happening? See what I mean.

Taken together, Marling's performance in a storyline with ramped-up drama that hinges on such a fanciful plot device leaves me cold. (And that's the feeling I get just from watching trailers and clips). I could probably handle one or the other, but both, in the same movie, tip the scale.

Hit Longworth's review. Her summation cuts to the core.

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