Arrival (2016)

Meaningful looks!
Meaningful looks!

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Starring  Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg and Tzi Ma

Okay, so you probably know how I do by now: teaser, synopsis, bad/good/how bad, head-scratchers and scores. Well… that’s not really going to work for this emotional meat-grinder of a conceptual SF outing, as pretty much any spoiler would invalidate a large part of the movie’s value; like spoiling The Crying Game in 1992.

Well, that was an unplanned piece of synchronicity.
It’s baby Forest Whitaker! Well, that was an unplanned piece of synchronicity.

Instead, I’m going to say that it is well worth watching. The intellectual concept is neat and the emotional content occasionally staggering, which you don’t often get with cerebral, high-concept SF.  It is going to have particular resonance with parents, not really spoilering anything that isn’t in the first three minutes of the movie. A strong script and excellent performances anchor the ideas of the story, and while present romance is never allowed to occlude the point of the story. There are basically no action scenes and the effects are not flashy, but superbly done.

Go see it if that sounds even remotely appealing to you. I’ll maybe do a full review when the DVD comes out.



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