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With: Gethin Anthony, Cara Theobold
Written by: Jonathan Kiefer
Directed by: Oliver Krimpas
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 79
Date: 01/30/2020

Around the Sun (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Singularly Plural

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Written by my colleague and fellow San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle member Jonathan Kiefer, Around the Sun offers something of an escape, or, more accurately a head trip.

Around the Sun will be available (for $9.99) on Apple TV. Additionally, it will be available through the Roxie, the Rafael Film Center, and other theaters (for $11) as part of the Virtual Cinema program, which benefits the theater of your choice. Details are here.

As the movie begins, Bernard (Gethin Anthony, Game of Thrones) sits in his car and receives a text, showing a photo of a positive pregnancy test. His reaction is less than thrilled.

Bernard is a location scout and has made an appointment to look at a French chateau, and Maggie (Cara Theobold, Downton Abbey), is there to show it to him. Like a good Englishman, he pulls himself together when she arrives.

Apparently, the 17th century scientist and philosopher Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle wrote Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds while staying there. Much of the discussion between Bernard and Maggie is about, or inspired by, Fontenelle.

As suggested by that book's title, this movie, Around the Sun, directed by Oliver Krimpas, has its own little twists on the multiverse, as Bernard and Maggie continue to meet and converse and try to connect.

A metaphysical walk-and-talk, it's a brainy movie, and clever, too, as when its chapters end, it leaves fascinating little clues as to its methods, delightful little pregnant moments that leave off just before closure.

The acting and cinematography are top-notch, and, at 79 minutes, it never over-taxes or wears out its welcome.

Those unfamiliar with Fontenelle (as I was) may find it easy to lose the movie's thread (as I did). And, as tightly woven as it is, it's not easy to get a handhold back after that happens.

Still, it's irresponsible to penalize a movie that asks for a bit more involvement than a normal movie would, and Around the Sun is worth the effort. Certainly a trip into another universe sounds very appealing right about now.

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