Yep, November is my favorite month of the year for sure. I feel like every movie I see is just amazing and this one is adding to that trend. I feel bad that I enjoy all of these movies so thoroughly. They’re really raising the bar for what I thought was going to be an off year for film.
Arrival is directed by my favorite up and coming director Denis Villeneuve and stars Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner. It’s a story about a woman who’s recruited by the military to translate this alien language. These giant eggs have appeared out of the sky and no one knows why. It’s a thrilling mystery that keeps you on your toes. I would highly recommend this film, but I would also recommend that you shouldn’t watch any of the trailers or read anything about it beforehand that might include any spoilers. It’s seriously one of those films that’s great to go in knowing absolutely nothing about the plot.
The shots in the film are seriously amazing. The amount of times that I was awed was honestly too high to count. I was stunned and amazed at some of the huge shots of the eggs. Then the film surprised me with these little moments where Villeneuve kept us engaged with Amy Adams’ character. The shots where she was at home alone and she’s standing directly in the middle of a door frame. It’s almost like Villeneuve was telling us that she’s a the mediary party in every scenario. Whether it’s talking with other life forms or just bridging the gap between two sides of the room. The film goes all in on this metaphor by making her the mediary between the audience and the movie. She links us to this world.
As expected, Amy Adams is amazing. She kills it as the strong woman who doesn’t take anything from anyone. I love how she controls the scenes and she is someone that you would want to work under. Jeremy Renner gives an equally spectacular performance. I think his ability to balance out with Adams is phenomenal. I thought Whitaker was good as well. He was never fully trusted and that’s what I liked most about him. We felt uneasy because Adams felt uneasy. The chemistry between the 3 of them was also palpable and fun to watch on screen.
The score in this movie sneaks up on you. It’s not something that you ever expect, but it gives the movie the most tension. It also relieves it when necessary. I never felt that the film felt unbalanced nor did I think the pacing/ length of the film was wrong. I think that’s because of the score put together by Johann Johannsson. He’s worked with Villeneuve on other projects and it’s pretty apparent that they work well together. I won’t say much more other than I liked the score a lot.
Overall, I thought this film was great. So great that it’s now 3:18AM and I’m writing this. I have to be up in 6 hours, but this film was so great that I just had to talk about it now. This cannot wait. I saw this in a relatively empty theater and that made me sad. This film is not to be slept on. It is fantastic and glorious. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. It might surprise you as being your film of the year.