In Snipped Clip, we take a look at scenes deleted from our favorite movies, serving up a little context and offering our own opinions on whether the scenes should have made it to the screen or been left on the cutting-room floor.
The Snipped Clip: “Very Clean House,” from the Another Earth Blu-ray combo pack, released Tuesday. Rhoda (played by Brit Marling) argues with her parents about her future as a janitor, a position she took after being released from prison for her involvement in a fatal car crash.
Analysis: Should it have stayed in? Another Earth is simultaneously about two journeys: the trip Rhoda wants to take to a newly discovered mirror Earth, and her quest to forgive herself for a tragic accident she causes. This clip helps move along the second journey, but does little to advance the first.
(Spoiler alert: Minor plot points follow for those who didn’t catch the film in theaters.)
Another Earth’s story revolves around what would happen if a second planet, identical to ours, magically appeared in the sky overhead. When Rhoda has her terrible accident on the night the cosmic doppelgänger is discovered, her life is altered forever. But the heart-wrenching part of the plot flows from her developing relationship with John (William Mapother), the man whose life that crash altered forever.
This clip doesn’t do much to develop either of the parallel plots; however, it does add a lot of personality to Rhoda, who remains relatively silent for the first half of the film. (It’s incredible what Marling can say simply with her face.) We get more of a sense that she’s adjusting to her life after prison and can handle the toughest questions about her future — even when they’re coming from her own family.
So, to that end, it’s nice to see that Rhoda maintains a rational outlook on her circumstances and isn’t as doom and gloom as her long periods of staring into space would imply. (It’s also nice to spend more time in director and co-writer Mike Cahill’s mother’s house, where the scene was filmed.)
That said, Another Earth is nearly perfect as is — it did win the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at Sundance earlier this year — and the moving sci-fi movie is fine without this vignette. Marling is amazing, and no amount of screen time with her is ever enough, but this particular dose is unnecessary. The filmmakers were right to leave it out. It makes a nice DVD bonus, though.
WIRED Could’ve provided a bit of levity at a point in the film when it was much needed. Marling being a darling.
TIRED Doesn’t add much to either of the concurrent plots. Meddling parents.
VERDICT A scene full of lilt and nuance, but largely unnecessary.