14 May 2018


Arrival 2016
  • Director: Denis Villeneuve
  • Based on story by Ted Chiang
  • Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Amy Adams – Man of Steel, Sunshine Cleaning, Junebug, Catch Me If You Can, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Jeremy Renner – 28 Weeks Later, North Country
    • Forest Whitaker – The Butler, Repo Men, The Great Debaters, Panic Room, Smoke, The Crying Game, Bird, Good Morning Vietnam, Platoon
  • Why? Sci fi. Good reviews.
  • Seen: 13 May 2018      

       Language professor Louise Banks (Adams) has just lost her teenage daughter to cancer when twelve unidentified objects appear in different places on Earth. Security officer Weber (Whitaker) approaches her and reminds her that she still has clearance because of some Farsi translations she had done and tells her she is needed to translate what the aliens are saying. Together with the theoretical Physicist Ian Donnelly (Renner) she is taken to the nearest spaceship.
       Around the world there is panic, looting, frantic research. The aliens do not seem hostile, in fact they are as cooperative as they can be, but still some countries, including groups in the US, want to attack with military force. Communication is established but only very slowly and sketchily. Louise is bold and clever but it’s almost impossible for humans and aliens to understand each other. The weeks pass. Threat of violence from the humans increases. Memories of teaching her daughter gives Louise ideas on how to reach the aliens.
       It’s detailed, matter of fact and realistic. As a language teacher I say hurrah for a sci fi film in which linguistics is a main character. The only minus is the somewhat soapy ending. Otherwise it’s utterly fascinating.

4 ½ * of 5

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