Arrival. 2016. USA. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. 116 min.
“Visionary Quebecois auteur Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, Sicario) directs Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker in this sci-fi drama about the panic that follows a wave of mysterious spacecraft landings across the globe. Throughout his film career, acclaimed Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has adapted to different genres, and his latest feature, Arrival, is no exception. Arrival honours classic science fiction while also creating something truly original. When 12 alien spacecraft land around the world, linguistics expert Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) are recruited by the US military to obtain the answer to one question: “What do they want?” …Certain to thrill mainstream moviegoers, cinephiles, sci-fi fans, and linguistics nerds alike, Arrival challenges the notion that technology improves our ability to communicate by focusing on the fundamentals. Villeneuve finds excitement in the details, crafting an atmosphere where dissecting the various components and interpretations of a sentence is as gripping as the first sight of aliens. Aided by Bradford Young’s arresting cinematography, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s captivating score, and long-time collaborator Patrice Vermette’s minimalist production design, Villeneuve shows masterful control over tone as he creates palpable tension that quietly builds to the film’s powerful conclusion. At once beautiful and haunting, Arrival is an alien movie that is fundamentally human” (Toronto Film International Festival). Courtesy of Paramount Pictures. (Source: Museum of Modern Art, MoMA)