I ORIGINS written and directed by Mike Cahill, with Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Archie Panjabi. A Fox Searchlight Pictures release. 113 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (July 25). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
I Origins finds Mike Cahill working in a slightly different vein than his lo-fi debut, Another Earth, but still playing with the idea of peripheral genre storytelling.
Cahill's movies are about ordinary people whose lives intersect with the impossible. Here, Michael Pitt plays a research scientist led to the woman of his dreams (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) by a series of apparently random occurrences; seven years later, another series of events leads him to discover something that threatens to overturn everything he holds true.
Further details might make I Origins sound very silly, and some viewers won't be willing to follow Cahill down the road he chooses. I was into it, though, held by Pitt's layered work as a rational man pushing back against the growing evidence that there's a larger world around him than he understands. (Another Earth's Brit Marling is invaluable as his hyper-focused lab assistant, particularly in the film's midsection.)
It's a weird, slippery and strangely playful movie. See for yourself.
See our interview with Michael Pitt and Mike Cahill here.