Denis Villeneuve directed this science-fiction suspense film about Earth's response to a possible alien invasion. After extraterrestrial spacecraft plant themselves at various locations around the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) and a theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner) must find a way to communicate with the mysterious visitors in order to learn what they want and whether they pose a threat to humanity. Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg co-star.~Violet LeVoit
If Batman v Superman didn't do Amy Adams any justice, then Arrival will. For once, Arrival tells a compelling story: a known language connoisseur is assigned to translate what a group of aliens is communicating in order to understand why they arrived on Earth. Adams characters, Louise Banks, is quite intelligent and will never be the same. After deciphering their language, she has her perception of time manipulated. How scary! Jeremy Renner's character is quite funny. There may be no true antagonists, but the antagonists are the world and their (hostile) perception of the aliens. Finally, the aliens' writing system is magnificent! I wish I knew how to spell my name in their language!
Arrival creates an interesting correlation between the linearity of language and the linearality of time. Worth watching more than once to fully appreciate the complex interweaving of reading and moving through time this film so artistically presents.
A group of scientists must find a way to communicate with aliens after they land at 12 locations around the world. While trying to communicate with the aliens, linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams), discovers that time is non-linear for the aliens, and they have a different means of communication.
The transfer from 1080 to 4K was nice, the Atmos mix was fabulous...the film however was meh. If you’re a physical media collector, the Blu-ray on this would work, but not necessary for a 4K upgrade. If you never owned it at all, and can catch a sale, go for it.
Canadian Denis Villeneuve is one of the most brilliant filmmakers alive, having just come off of a string of five consecutive masterpieces, starting with "Polytechnique" in 2009 and proceeding with "Incendies", "Prisoners", "Enemy", and 2015's "Sicario". Known for bending viewers' minds with provocative movies that sometimes require copious thought to unlock their meanings, "Arrival" is not an exception. Ostensibly an alien-invasion movie about an expert linguist who is called upon to decode the language of arriving aliens in order to communicate with them, the film reaches so much further, even to primal questions of human existence. It is a hard film to discuss because it contains a bona-fide puzzle a viewer must unlock (involving time and, possibly, other dimensions) in order to even approach the film's meaning. If one 'gets' it, the film's denouement can be an emotional epiphany for the viewer; if not, one might flounder in enigmas upon leaving the theater. The film's genius is that either way the viewer should find this film haunting him for days after, perhaps taunting him to unlock its secrets. A second viewing is virtually a necessity, not only to study its careful plotting but also to appreciate its emotional resonances one has been too busy to appreciate upon first viewing, and it is a revelation upon seeing it again to find that the film has completely 'played fair,' providing visual and audio clues that had passed unnoticed. Amy Adams plays the linguist with such deep sincerity and total commitment, so important when one realizes that she is the true center of the film -- and Villeneuve, along with cinematographer Bradford Young, has supplied visuals so breathtakingly stunning you might have to pinch yourself to believe what your eyes are seeing. The visuals are also matched by the remarkable score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (who had teamed with Villeneuve on "Prisoners" and "Sicario") using vocals and experimental piano 'loops' to put viewers into an other-worldly state of being. It is such an audacious, creative piece of intelligent, adult science fiction (something rarely encountered today), the thoughtful, open-minded viewer should embrace this as a gem for both the mind and heart, and not hold against it that it is less interested in the usual science fiction tropes than the light and dark paradigms of human existence.