ARRIVAL (film) was one of the best movies I have ever seen

ARRIVAL - 2016
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Amy Adams / Jeremy Renner / Forest Whitaker
Content Rating: PG 13 for brief strong language.
Source: Rented.

When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

I didn't expect much when I sat down to watch Arrival. I knew Adams had received considerable praise for her performance and that the film had been an Oscar contender (coming away with Best Sound Editing) but I couldn't imagine it being anything other than an alien flick: shallow and just plain weird.
But instead, I was so surprised by what unfolded before my eyes.

The atmosphere was bleak but sharp, and mystical, and the beginning of the movie plunged straight into a mysterious tragedy. The cinematography was superb, and the visuals tender and atmospheric. The dialogue was intelligent, witty, rich in subtext, and more was said in silent glances than actual words - making the stillness a breathless crescendo of feeling and emotion.  It was horrifying and fascinating at the same time, and I was sucked into the breathtaking world with my heart pounding literally the entire duration of the film. 
It was expertly plotted and paced. The flashes Adams' character experienced were heartbreakingly and naturally inserted into the film's current story, and contributed effortlessly to Louise's present situation/dilemma. It wasn't for one minute boring. I was utterly seduced by the enthralling and profound story playing out on screen - so full, so whole, and leaving me complete.

Amy Adams was captivating. Her character was an unique, quietly spoken but highly intelligent heroine, trapped beneath her own demons. Adams was excellent, drawing Louise's inner battle to the surface when called for, and easily switching between a mother trying to hide her pain and a woman trapped in a vulnerable and terrifying situation. The fact that Adams did not even receive an Oscar nomination for her role as Louise just infuriates me; the film would not have been the same without her gentle, profound presence, and the fact that it's gone largely unnoticed and unrecognised is cinematically cruel.
Jeremy Renner's acting was also strong, and had nice chemistry with Adams. His character was equally well drawn, and he offered some mild but much needed comic relief.

The direction was excellent. The set-up of characters and their relationships for what was coming later in the movie was so on point it was insane; perfect foreshadowing, and perfect characterisation.  For example, small things like Jeremy Renner's character not answering straight away to affirm his safety when the group enters the alien spaceship, was such an exquisitely thought-through move to further express his character's personality - and in that moment, I had such a strong sense of who he was and what he was like. It was brilliant.

Before I even remembered that the film won Best Sound Editing, I was blown away by the incredibly moving and largely acoustic musical score.  Most of the film progressed without music, and that instilled such a heartfelt and mesmerising connection that I believe would have been lost otherwise. The sound of silence was stunning - as was Adams, as was the film. And when there was music in the last few minutes of the movie, it was so perfectly placed and beautiful.
This film had so much heart and so much beauty that it delivered far more than the typical sci-fi flick. When it was over, I was sobbing. It was incredible.  

Arrival presented an utterly unique way to look at human relationships. I was sucked into the heartbreaking reality on screen that quite literally left me breathless. Adams was captivating, the sound editing superb, and the theme heart rendering. 
My mind was blown and my heart was broken. But the film was astounding.   


  1. I LOVED this film. Wonderful. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And great review, puts into words what I was thinking :)

    1. YES!! Yay that's makes me so happy.
      Thank you :)

  2. I need to see this! because of your review and also Jeremy Renner ..I've had a huge crush on him since Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters :P

    1. You do! Oh heck yeah - Jeremy's my crush, too ;) And he looked SO hot in Arrival!

  3. Wow, amazing review! You've totally made me want to watch the movie :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. Aww thank you Brittany! And yes, you definitely should :)
      Sure! <3

  4. This movie was SO GOOD. I loved it so much. The ending makes me crazy though - no spoilers, but WHY??????

    1. IT WAS <3 And I'm so glad you did too :)
      Haha I know right? My heart literally shattered - it was insane.

  5. Oh, Amy, another SUPERB review!! Now I HAVE to see this movie!! It sounds SO WONDERFUL AND FASCINATING!!

    You know, I get mad, too, when a film I feel is a REAL winner is bypassed by the Academy. I just don't get it! WHY didn't Adams even get an Oscar nomination, for Pete's sake?! *shakes head in disbelief*

    I'm so glad the other aspects of the movie impressed you, as well. I'm a HUGE SF fan, so I MUST indeed make the time to get immersed in this movie, especially after reading about how it affected you!!

    BTW, critics were also WAY off the mark with a movie I'll recommend to you: "Shining Through", with Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas. The Academy was TOTALLY WRONG about this one, and so was "Rotten Tomatoes", and all the other STUPID critics. Get a hold of this movie!! I GUARANTEE you'll LOVE it!!

    Thanks for the GREAT review!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 :) :)

    1. Thank you Maria! <3 Yes you must, it was both of those!!

      I KNOW HEY?! It makes me so mad! And she definitely deserved it <3

      Wow thanks for the rec, I haven't actually heard of that movie! I'll definitely look out for it now :) And I agree, sometimes critics can be so weird with reviews and ratings. I guess it's all just subjective, though :(

      Thank you! HUGS!! <3 <3 :) :)

  6. I need to watch this again. It was the first movie I've watched after my miscarriage (about a week later) and I remember telling my husband I've got no clue what is going on here, but it is because I can't concentrate. I know it was good, I just need to focus on it. Yes, Amy Adams was exceptional in this part. Very nice review!

    1. Oh no Mareli, that's awful. I'm so sorry :(
      But yes, it was an amazing movie - hopefully you'll get to watch it again soon and enjoy it :)
      Thank you!

  7. Great review! I'm really looking forward to this one - I'm way down the waitlist at the library for it...

    1. Thanks Lauren!
      Ah shame, that's a pain! I hope you get to watch it soon and love it :)


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