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Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Origins by Mike Cahill, 2014 (R)

I ORIGINS, the second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory.

Interesting, definitely. The idea, not too far from perhaps Cloud Atlas, in a very different prism, talks about the connectedness and the intricate relationship we can have with random people, but also about science, and evolution. It is tricky, as the project is ambitious and the production still small. And mostly perhaps because it tends to mislead the audience into what we are going to get from the movie. The main character, performed by Michael Pitt, can be confusing, and I wonder if this is not a deliberate choice that they chose him in particular to confuse us, since Michael Pitt previous roles in movies are a little unsettling, from psychopath to unbalanced men. Of course Brit Marling is really good, I am always amazed by how natural her characters come to her, she is an amazing actress. Astrid Bergès-Frisbey is annoying, and a little cliché, which breaks the magic. The rest of the cast is impeccable, and as expected from his previous movie Another Earth, despite a big topic of science and fiction, he maintains a character driven movie with beautiful imagery.

with Michael Pitt (The Dreamers), Brit Marling (The Company You Keep, Another Earth), Steven Yeun, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Archie Panjabi, William Mapother (Lost, Another Earth), Cara Seymour (An Education, Jack and Diane), Venida Evans

watch trailer: