Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Honestly, Arrival is by far my favourite film of 2016 thus far. I mean, this isn't saying a lot because I haven't seen very many good films this year at all. But Arrival is an incredibly-made and a very intelligent film about Earth's first contact with an alien race.
Arrival is a film about communication, about humanity, about love and about how we perceive time. About how everything in our lives affects the way we see things and they change our perceptions. It's a story about Louise Banks, a world-renowned linguist, and how she is used by the army to try to communicate to aliens that have landed on Earth. 12 "pods" have landed all over the planet with no seeming pattern. And the aliens do not speak any Earthly language. Louise, with the help of Ian (a scientist), attempt to teach the Aliens English, and attempt to learn the language of the aliens.
For a long time, the human race has been obsessed with the idea of aliens and first contact. There are countless film about Alien invasions, about first contact, about friendly aliens, but just generally this idea that there is another, more intelligent race out there. But Arrival is a much different animal than many of the other "Alien" films out there. Arrival is both grand in scale but also an intimate human drama. It both tackles how this "arrival" impacts the entire globe, but also very specifically about how it is impacting Louise and her past and future.
Without giving out specifics or spoilers, Arrival is a film that actually knows how to deal with time. I'm not going to say any more about this, but this movie really understands the time aspect of it's film, which I find a lot of other movies don't. It uses time in different ways than other movies have done. I know this doesn't make a lot of sense to people who haven't seen this film, but trust me, you'll understand once you've watched it.
Also, Amy Adams give an incredible performance here. It's so internalized and subtle, but at the same time she's so in control and powerful. Louise is an incredibly strong character and she's incredibly brilliant. Amy Adams was such a great choice to bring Louise to life.
Honestly, Arrival is just an incredibly beautiful film about communication and how we come together as a planet. It taps into this idea that newcomers we don't understand are often automatically a threat. It shows how well and how badly we communicate with each other, both person to person, and on a global scale. Honestly, the ending will probably destroy you (the choice of music picked was 100000% perfection) and it's something very different for this genre.
I don't know how to articulate enough that Arrival is honestly a must-see film this year. It transcends so many different genres and takes the time to actually think through the science and the time of the story and just takes the time to build character. This is not a film with loud booms and lots of explosions. This film is cerebral and intelligent, but also human and heartbreaking in the best way. I would love to see this film make good money so it can tell Hollywood that these kind of intelligent film are important and they are good and are worth making. This should 100% be up for Best Picture come February, and I would love to see Denis Villeneuve and Amy Adams also singled out with individual nominations.