Director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is the best sci-fi extraterrestrial film since Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Writer Eric Heisserer’s screenplay based on Ted Chiang’s story is absolutely brilliant. And, that was my conclusion with just the first viewing. But, thinking I might have missed something, I had a second viewing and was completely blown away, when I uncovered the real magic driving this story. Brilliance moved to absolutely incredible!
Obviously, I will tell you no more, except that I don’t see how anyone can beat this for Best Adapted Screenplay.
I will tell you that the plot concerns mysterious spacecrafts that, suddenly, appear in 12 seemingly random areas of the world, the principal one to the film in Montana.
Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a renowned linguist, who is brought to the site to help in trying to decipher the language of the aliens and determine their purpose in coming to Earth. Amy Adams is absolutely wonderful in this role.
Jeremy Renner admirably plays a physicist, who is brought to the site to provide a scientist’s point of view and Forest Whitaker is excellent, as always, as the army colonel in charge of the area.
The film moves at a methodical pace as Banks tries to find the key to understanding the way to communicate with the aliens and Heisserer’s script craftily brings us into Banks’ process before things begin to unravel when some of the countries involved decide not to share their findings and, finally, decide to declare war on the extraterrestrials.
Thanks to the fabulous editing of Joe Walker, we are drawn into Banks’ mind to see how she begins to unravel the mystery.
Arrival is, arguably, the most intelligent film of the year, so far, and deserves a 4.9 out of 5. This is a film to see even if you’re not a sci-fi enthusiast.