New To Blu: I Origins - Reviewed

Mike Cahill follows Another Earth with his beautiful and poignant feature, I Origins.

Touching on similar themes as The Fountain and Upstream Color, Mike Cahill brings a moody, ethereal study to blu-ray this week. I Origins capitalizes on the same familiar tones as his previous work, Another Earth, but expands on the director's merits as a verifiable cinematic artiste that continues to grow with this latest feature. I Origins is not the straight genre film some expected and its slow burn might turn some viewers off. Yet, it's one of the best of 2014 with Michael Pitt's illuminating performance as molecular biologist, Ian. 

"Did you say I'm the STAR of
this movie!!! About time!"

Bearing through the first act is certainly a challenge, but once the focus is set and the story becomes more apparent, I Origins becomes a visually immaculate film with a soulful message about the transcendence of love alongside the undeniable balance between beliefs in a greater being and the scientific world which plays its constant foe. I Origins is smart cinema that explores both sides of the fence and doesn't belittle anyone's personal ideals. 

Fans of the strange and surreal Another Earth will find strong tonal comparisons and numerous dynamic similarities between the two pictures. But, I Origins is a far more expansive work that takes Cahill to new heights as a director. He shows marked improvement with smarter dialogue, more fleshed out ideas, and a much harder push to get his real point across. With Another Earth, things felt glossed over or left to the audience to decide. With I Origins, Cahill takes a little while to begin fleshing out the story, but when he finally gains that resourceful momentum, the plot becomes a near masterpiece with its heartfelt tale of love lost too soon.

"Yeah, I know. I took a picture.
It'll last longer. Duh."
Without the best performance of Michael Pitt's career, none of this could exist. Shedding everything he's ever done before, Pitt finally comes into his own as a lead actor. He adapts from scene to scene and finally shows a deeper emotional transparency than we've seen from him in the past. Pitt has always been a fastidious actor, more interested in the artful, independent fare. I Origins allows him to bask in the indie glory he so loves while turning in a sincere and accomplished bit of acting. His supporting cast features Brit Marling (Another Earth), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), and the stunning Astrid Berges-Frisbey. 

Fans of Cahill's previous work will find I Origins to be another challenging but nearly perfect theatrical tale. It crosses the fine line between sci-fi and drama while exploring modern themes of science versus religion without ever feeling convoluted or self aware. If you like demanding films that require some amount of thought, I Origins is definitely for you. This is a great blend of numerous genres that uses its small cast to its full extent while finally allowing Michael Pitt the screen time he so deserves.