Curtains Up on Arrival

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Wow.

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Denis Villeneuve has become one of the most prolific directors working in hollywood.  Just by looking at his last few films, this local boy has established himself as a cinematic force. Prisoners, Enemy, and Sicario. And these are his American films. His Quebec made films are among the provinces best and most celebrated. But now, he has delivered his opus. His greatest film.  For me, it truly is the best of the bunch and it’s Arrival. Do yourselves a big favour and watch this movie tonight and in a cinema. This is the fall film that I have been waiting for. It’s an intelligent science fiction spectacle that lingers in your memory long after its over.

Amy Adams. What can I say?  She’s been great before but here, she is exceptional. She plays a linguistic professor who is enlisted by the US army, here represented by Forest Whitaker, to try and find a way to communicate with extraterrestrials that have positioned themselves over different areas of the world. In this film we are treated to the beauty of big sky country, Montana.  This UFO is a stark black oval that hovers above the wonderful and impressive landscape.  Once Amy’s Adam’s professor meets up with a Physicist (Jeremy Renner) intent on figuring out why these visitors have settled on earth, get ready. We are treated to a philosophical story much like Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind with visuals that will, for me anyway, become iconic.

This is not a slam bam alien adventure. The film takes its time to develop character. Like I said, Adams has never been better because she infuses her character with such empathy and emotion that we relate to her the moment she appears. It’s a rounded character, something unusual for what many will think is a standard sic-fi flick. It’s not. It’s a masterpiece of acting, cinematography and direction. Filmmakers should take note, a guy from Quebec has risen the movie making bar.

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