Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Arrival is a must-see film but it’s not your typical sci-fi movie-going experience. It’s not Star Wars. It’s not Star Trek. It’s not even Gravity. There’s no other way to explain it other than this is a movie that will make you think.
Eric Heisserer adapts the screenplay from Ted Chiang’s short story, “Story of Your Life.” Because Villeneuve was busy shooting Prisoners at the time, he was unable to adapt the screenplay, which he describes as “very intellectual, in a strong and beautiful way, but from a dramatic point of view it’s a bit difficult to articulate because it’s about process.”
Amy Adams leads a cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg. To say that Adams is phenomenal in her role as linguist Louise Banks is an understatement. She’s amazing and on her way to another Oscar nomination. When we first meet Louise, she is working at a university and going through the process of mourning her daughter, Hannah. At first, she’s hesitant to embark on this project but ultimately, she follows through and also finds love in the end.
In Arrival, mysterious spacecraft touchdown around the globe and it’s up to a team lead by Banks and Donnelly (Renner), a physicist who is brought on to deal with communicating through math, to figure out what these aliens are trying to tell us. In doing so, it’s hard to understand what’s in the past and what is going to take place in the future, which is why it’s more of a thinking sci-fi movie. When it comes down to it, the movie is about communication.
As awards season kicks off and many top ten lists are announced, this movie is sure to be featured. Ten nominations were picked up when the Critics’ Choice Awards nominees were announced this morning.
Arrival opened on November 11, 2016 and is currently playing in theaters everywhere.