I Origins was one of my very favorite movies at Sundance this year, and I am really excited that the trailer is out now so you can get a taste of the movie’s awesomeness. So it’s kind of weird that I am going to say this, but, don’t watch it. Or, if you insist on watching some of it, turn it off at the 1:26 mark. I’m not kidding. This trailer gives away too much of the story.
I’m not going to get into a generalized rant about trailers and clips and featurettes that show the whole movie before it hits theaters. I just want to say why I think you should go into this particular movie relatively unspoiled. Written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth) the story is about a scientist, played by Michael Pitt, whose postdoctoral work is an effort to disprove irreducible complexity, used by some to argue in favor of God. He meets a mysterious girl (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) at a party and is mysteriously led to find her again. It’s no mystery to her, because she willed the universe to bring him to her. He is science, logic, and data, and she is spirit, mysticism, and symbol. Somehow, they love each other anyway. Then there is a pretty shocking (if you haven’t seen the trailer) twist, followed by a couple more turns along the way.
The movie is about what we believe in and how we approach the world and how we respond when our views are challenged or shaken or disproven. You can still get those ideas if you go into the movie knowing what the twists and turns are, but the surprise drives you along the path with the character. Like the characters, what you think you know is challenged, and you have to decide what that means for you. If you know everything going in, it will place you at a distance from the characters. You might still think about the big questions, but you won’t be confronted by them in the same way.
So there’s my argument. Watch the trailer or don’t watch it, hopefully you’ll see the movie when it hits theaters… sometime. There’s no official release date yet. I Origins also stars Brit Marling and Stephen Yeun. You can watch our video review (it gives away way less than the trailer) here.