Movie review

'I Origins' gives food for thought



Talk about a potential mixed marriage.

Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) is a strict man of science, a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. Girlfriend Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) is a spiritual woman who asks him, “Why are you working so hard to disprove God?”

They met at a party, coupled, parted and Ian found her when he followed a series of signs — a tab of $11.11 at a 7-Eleven, the time of 11:11 on Nov. 11 and a No. 11 bus — which led to a billboard with Sofi’s distinctive eyes advertising perfume. 

'I Origins' movie trailer

A molecular biologist and his laboratory partner uncover evidence that may fundamentally change society as we know it.

In “I Origins,” Ian and Sofi become inseparable as he collaborates with a brainy research assistant, Karen (Brit Marling). They’re working toward proving that eyes could have evolved and, therefore, aren’t proof positive of the existence of God.

No one can foresee, however, the discoveries, changes and challenges of the coming years in this movie that is part thriller, part love story and part rumination on such subjects as reincarnation and God. It seems to change course midway through and requires patience as if the audience were being directed down a hallway and through a series of doors and then up a set of stairs and through a trap door to the roof where the answer awaits.

'I Origins'

Starring: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Berges-Frisbey.

Rating: R for some sexuality/nudity and language.


“I Origins” was written and directed by Mike Cahill, who comes from a family of doctors and scientists and who made “Another Earth,” also with Ms. Marling. That 2011 movie was about a young woman living in the shadow of a deadly accident she caused and a second Earth that appears in the sky like a giant reflective mirror. It was a low-budget winner about exploration of hellish fates, the heavens and everything in between.

“I Origins,” a denser story, also functions as a mirror allowing moviegoers to re-examine their thoughts on evolution, faith, connections through time and space, and eyes as “the window to the soul” or modern identification tool thanks to iris scanning. It doesn’t deliver the wallop it should, but it’s smart and sincere and provides a little something to chew on, along with your butter-flavored popcorn. 

Opens today at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront. 


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.

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