MOVIE REVIEW: Arrival
One of the Best Movies of 2016
It’s not often that a movie whose main plot point is that aliens have arrived from outer space makes us think deeply about the actions we take as humans, but that is exactly what Arrival does. It is also why it is one of my favorite movie of 2016. The people who will be disappointed are those coming to the theater looking for this to be an onslaught of invasion/ID4 type special effects thrills. It is a deeply thoughtful movie with sci-fi elements.
I think many people have dismissed this film as “just another alien arrival movie” but it is so much deeper than that. It is a movie that is far more cerebral than it is celluloid. There are the kinds of things the thinking sci-fi fan will revel in. This movie taps into emotions in a way that is subtle and not manipulative. The story is presented with just the right sense of urgency that keeps you interested, but not overwhelmed. The success of this film in my opinion is largely the result of two key things: Its Director, Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners), and the lead actress, Amy Adams.
The story focuses on Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a renowned linguist and college instructor living a quiet life after the death of her child. Quiet, until the day 12 huge mysterious orbs appear around the world and the military determines she is their best chance at getting a dialogue going with these aliens. Jeremy Renner plays Ian Donnelly, a theoretical physicist. Yes, it’s geeky like that and he will prove key to the story.
Villeneuve has created something that is both imaginative, fulfilling, and masterfully done. Arrival is already garnering Oscar-buzz with its 10 Critics Awards nominations recently announced and I predict it will go on to garner some Oscar nods as well. It may have been out for over a month now, but it is still not too late to catch this movie that will be talked about for quite some time.