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WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team - led by expert linguist Louise Banks - is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers - and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.
"Dirty Sci-fi" is what director Denis Villeneuve and cinematographer Bradford Young called the look they created together for Arrival. Villeneuve wanted it to feel like "This was happening on a bad Tuesday morning, like when you were a kid on the school bus on a rainy day and you'd dream while looking out the window at the clouds." See more »
Louise is told to translate some overheard Mandarin and is momentarily confused at hearing the Mandarin word for "suits" before realizing that it is a reference to Mahjong. In actual Mandarin, the word for "suit" that refers to clothing and the word for "suit" that refers to a classification of cards in a card game are not the same word. If the speakers had really been using the word "suit" in the card-game sense, Louise might have initially translated it as "flower-color" and been confused, but the only way she could have translated it initially as "suit" would be if she already knew of the card-game meaning. See more »
Dr. Louise Banks:
And "purpose" requires an understanding of intent. We need to find out, do they make conscious choices or is their motivation so instinctive that they don't understand a "why" question at all. And-And biggest of all, we need to have enough vocabulary with them that we understand their answer.
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After credits have finished, there is a short documentary on the making of Arrival. See more »
ARRIVAL delivers on so many levels it's impossible to describe without spoilers. The book is out there, so if you really must know before you see a film, read, "The Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang...but I highly recommend you see the movie first. Honestly. You want it to unfold as a warm, fresh croissant on a chilly morning, and melt in your mouth.
From visually stimulating scenes to an unexpected score masterfully composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson you recognize at once this is a thinking film you'll long remember.
One scene in particular features a cloud that took my breath away. Sure, the extraterrestrial vehicle was amazing, but that cloud... As a photojournalist of nearly fifty years, I was stunned at the lifelike character of the cloud and suspected it was real, though I knew that was impossible; you can't cue Mother Nature when it's time to roll. I wanted to praise the CGI team for the effect, but Shawn Levy confirmed it was natural. They had set up to shoot this wide shot, worried about impending rain, or too much wind, or the lighting being too dark for the right effect, but the cloud wanted to become a star that day, and it rolled into frame with absolute perfection. This scene alone is worth a nod to Bradford Young for best cinematography.
The special effects team delivered, too.
Amy Adams performance was stunning. Sci-fi is largely disregarded when awards are passed out, but if the Academy neglects to acknowledge Adams work in this film, I may boycott them forever. Adams is Oscar-worthy for a Best Actress nomination for her character of linguist Dr. Louise Banks in this one, though Meryl Streep will most likely take it for Florence Foster Jenkins.
It is clear the five years taken to bring this story to the screen were well worth the work.
Ten well-deserved stars for ARRIVAL. I wish it a huge success at the box office so this team will continue to make more films of this caliber.
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