I was surprised that most of the other comments here are negative. I greatly enjoyed this film, perhaps because I haven't read the novel or seen the 1980 PBS version (which is heralded by IMDB'ers as being much superior). I think that Le Guin's premise and plot are so masterful and breathtaking that even a superficial rendition, in a too-short film such as this one, is compelling.
In this version of _Lathe_ I found a theme that later recurs in Le Guin's _Earth Sea_ trilogy: The characters say the phrase "always now", expressing their desire to treasure this moment and live in it forever. Compare this to Earth Sea's metaphor that each life is a word spoken, bounded on both sides by silence (birth and death). There's a yearning to defeat that death by living in the moments in between, forever. Yet, perhaps that too would be a kind of death, were it even possible.
*SOME MINOR SPOILERS*
One of the plot's most engaging elements occurs when the two nexuses simultaneously attempt to redirect the course of the world. Very nice, but a little disappointing in its execution here: There's no real climax or feeling that the two of them are battling each other, nor does the world respond in a sufficiently dramatic way. An alternate approach would have been having the world torn asunder, perhaps literally if not only in the sense that two separate versions were created, one for each of them. The erupting volcano was a nice symbolic touch and the film could have used more of this type of world-rending imagery.
The words spoken at the beginning and end of the film: "The mind, that ocean where each kind does straight its own resemblance find. Yet it creates, transcending these, far other worlds, in other seas" are from Andrew Marvell's beautiful 72-line poem "The Garden", published in 1681. There are so many literary, film, and TV works that borrow from _Lathe_ (I'm assuming that Le Guin was the first to explore these ideas, since she published it in 1971). One of the most striking of these is the film _Frequency_: A seismic timescape event ripples forward into the present, but those who are close enough to hear the ham radio remember both the new and the old histories. That powerful irony is my main attraction to stories like these: The protagonist must cope with the duality of knowing that the world had another fate - one that is now irretrievable.
I'm also reminded of Greg Egan's novel _Permutation City_, where simulated worlds, upon termination, "find themselves in the dust", thereby resuming their existence. Greg Egan's _Quarantine_ is also related: The protagonist can subconsciously influence the world to stave off countless undesirable fates.
Another example is the film _Dark City_, which is powerfully reminiscent of _Lathe_: One again, the protagonist can influence the world subconsciously. In addition, people have their memories replaced, but this isn't enough to change the essence of who they are - there's something more to us. Even the plot is similar: People keep appearing in different roles, but the town is so small that they meet the new versions of each other again and again. This irony is spooky. The beginnings of both films (waking up disoriented, in a new iteration of the world) are also very similar, and remarkably, so are their ends (protagonist rediscovers his true love, meets her again and they both know, somehow, that they're connected).
Finally, _Lathe_ is very similar to the "many worlds" theory. In fact, the premise could be explained as George Orr jumping from one parallel universe to another with each new dream. However, this is contradicted by the fact that the world feels deja vu, implying that the new universes didn't exist before he dreamed them into being.
Two great novels that explore "many worlds" very poignantly are James P. Hogan's _Proteus Operation_ and Greg Benford's _Timescape_. They evoke the terrible agony of knowing that an alternate world exists, in turmoil, but that it can't be contacted or saved.
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