Arrival (2016)

Twelve different spacecrafts have come to Earth and humanity doesn’t know what to make of them. A linguistics professor (Amy Adams) is sent to figure out what these visitors are trying to tell us.

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O’Brien

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language

Fun Fact: Amy Adams was the first choice to play Louise. She accepted the role in 24 hours after looking over the script.

Denis Villeneuve has stated that he always wanted to make an amazing science fiction film. The only problem was that he couldn’t find the right story to make a film out of. Enter Arrival, and Villeneuve has his film that he has set out to make. This is the second film that I have viewed from him. Blade Runner 2049 was the first and that got me even more interested in seeing this one to see what other films he has made.

Arrival is a fantastic film and it should be viewed by everyone. Villeneuve is becoming the next great director. I have always wondered where the next Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick were. Where is the next director that will bring us classics again and makes people want to go see movies in the theaters again. The ones that makes us love film and inspire to talk about them on sites like this. Villeneuve brings us a thought provoking science fiction film that gets the viewer to think about the material. Are these aliens good or bad? What do they want from us? For me like films that get you thinking because it gets me more invested in what’s going on. Villeneuve was nominated for best directing awards and he deserved every one of them. There will be a day that he wins one and it will be well worth it.

The visuals are a site to see because of the grand scale that it’s presented on. What makes Arrival the visually impressive film that it is, is the cinematography work of Bradford Young. Just like Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve has recruited a very talented cinematographer to complete a difficult task, and that’s to make the audience capture the moments on screen. Everything that Young captures fits and every different shot that’s made was the right shot. Young was also nominated for his work and he deserves it as well. It was a great idea to have one of the spaceships in a valley in Montana as you could see how big the ship is in the valley. It gives the viewer a sense of wonder and fascination that you will want to see more. Inside the ship has a unique take on alien spaceships that I don’t think I have seen something like it. Even the aliens that we see look great and a new twist on the genre. I kept thinking if there was more to them or what we see is what we get. I wasn’t disappointed the least bit and was satisfied in everything that was on screen.

The cast drives fine performances and they’re believable. Amy Adams gives one of her best performances. She has a lot to carry in this film and she took on that challenge and succeeded. I have always been a fan of hers and it was great to see the effort she put on screen. She has a great chemistry with Jeremy Renner. You want to see these two succeed in what they must do. Forest Whitaker gives a suitable performance as well. He plays the Army colonial as someone that’s cautious but, willing to do what it takes to figure everything out. The great thing about these characters is that the script is written for them. The characters must use their skills like trying to figure out why they are here. How do you succeed in answering this question? By using their strengths like using language and trying to communicate with the aliens.

Overall, Arrival is a must-see film. It has fantastic visuals that are brought to life by the camera work of Bradford Young. Denis Villeneuve’s direction shows his passion for making great films and he’s going to be the next Hitchcock and Kubrick if he keeps making the films that he has been doing. Throw in great performances lead by Amy Adams and you get a well-rounded science fiction film that will leave you in awe and wonder. It gives us a new take on an alien film that you might haven’t had a chance to see before.

Verdict: Hit

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