I’ll
tell you one thing about Arrival; I needed this movie right now. It’s
been a rough week, for reasons I don’t think I need to explain or get
into, but this is the kind of movie we could all use right now. Director
Dennis Villenueve directs Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner in what I’d
probably say is his best movie yet (which is shocking when you see what
else he’s done). It proves to me that this guy is the most exciting new
director of our generation (and the fact that he’s doing Blade Runner 2
has me insanely stoked). Arrival is his most peaceful, emotional and
poignant movie yet, as he usually takes a darker and slightly cynical
tone in his movies. If you’re feeling kind of down about humanity right
now, Arrival is the perfect antidote.

The
movie begins with Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) as she goes to teach her
linguistics class at a university, when 12 mysterious objects suddenly
appear all over the earth. She is quickly called upon to go to a base in
Montana to assist in decoding the language of the creatures inside of
these objects. Also there is Ian, theoretical physicist (Jeremy Renner).
Humanity has made contact with extra terrestrials for the first time,
and are desperately seeking to know what they want and their purpose on
earth. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, as any more would be a
spoiler, but it goes in some pretty interesting and incredible
directions. The ending of Arrival in particular is one of the most
emotional, impactful endings I’ve seen in a movie this year, or any.

I
said up top that this movie is beautiful, and it’s one of the rare
examples of a film where every single frame could be a gorgeous still
photo. The cinematography by Bradford Young is out of this world. Beyond
just that, the score by Johann Johannsson (missing some umlauts in the
name, which I’m not even sure is what they’re called but I couldn’t find
out for sure online so sorry about that and man I need to wrap up this
sentence) is a beautiful, straight-forward and inventive composition.
The fact that this guy is doing Blade Runner 2049 is exciting, and I
hope he can channel his inner Vangelis for it. Beyond just visuals and
sound, Amy Adams absolutely kills it, and anything less than an Oscar
nomination for her would be a crime (but then again this is 2016 we’re
talking about, so all bets are off).

Speaking
of 2016, and the state of the world, I can’t overstate enough just how
perfect a time it is for this movie. The primary theme of Arrival is the
power of language, and how incredibly important it is to seek
understanding instead of giving in to a fear that grows into resentment
and hate. Villenueve couldn’t have predicted how prescient his movie
would be upon release, but it’s a message that everybody could use right
now, regardless of political affiliation. The movie talks about the
idea of a non-zero sum game, or the idea that one groups survival
doesn’t rely on the destruction of another. As the country becomes more
and more divided, this is an idea that would do well to stay at the
forefront of our minds. When the world is on the brink of chaos, the
ability to listen, process, and understand others with empathy is the
most powerful weapon in your arsenal.

Out
of every movie out right now, I hope people flock to Arrival. It did
pretty well at the box office opening weekend, but the word-of-mouth
around it is sure to kick it into gear. Like I also said up top, Arrival
is the best movie I’ve seen this year so far, and it’s been a great
year for movies (even if it hasn’t been for anything else on earth). Up
next, I’ll probably check out the new ‘Harry Potter and the magical
money printing machine’ as well as Disney’s ‘Moana’. As always, shoot me
a recommendation for movies I should check out, tell your friends about
the blog, and thank you for reading!

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