I haven’t seen Moonlight yet, but of the other three movies I think have the best chance (Arrival, La La Land, Manchester), Arrival stuck with me the most. Manchester was a painful reflection on male grief, a sort of adult response to Inside Out, but Arrival felt profound to me.
I suppose it could be compared to Inception, a movie that was technically accomplished and detailed but maybe not emotionally resonant, judging by how most people felt about arrival. I left thinking “if I had a chance to do it all again, would I?” I’ve made some big choices that have had massive impacts on my relatively young life, and watching Adams make her choices sent me into a multi-day period of pondering what has developed for me over the past few years, what I could have done differently, and if I would have taken the same path.
There are obviously numerous ways to measure the merits of a film, and Arrival sticking in my head isn’t a strong one, but I’ll take it.