Sawyer Hartman’s Parallax is a beautifully shot version of something that we have seen before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. The film is set 17 years after meteors struck the earth, causing apparently massive ecological damage and leaving the survivors traumatized. Flashback scenes do an able job of conveying the despair of individuals who are powerless in the face of an unexpected natural disaster. In the present, Jonathan Cooper is a disgraced astronomer trying desperately to warn the public about a second meteor shower which he predicts is imminent.
Cooper is the sort of character we’ve seen before. He’s selfless and self-reliant with a family to look after. Parallax doubles down on Cooper’s family man status, giving him both a younger sister and a devoted wife in need of protection. He splits his time between building a three person shelter and trying to persuade academics and radio personalities, both of which still exist post-Armageddon, that his predictions of a second meteor shower are accurate and should be heeded.
The world doesn’t buy what Cooper is selling and the film teases us with the possibility that maybe we shouldn’t either. This is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Parallax . The audience isn’t sure at first if Cooper is a savior or a crank. All the big reveals are well-timed, building suspense without sacrificing empathy for its lead character. We won’t spoil the ending but the scene is lovely, perfectly composed, and poignant.