Having barely given audiences a chance to draw breath in the wake of Sicario, Villeneuve was soon up and running again in what is now the most prolific period of his career to date. Switching his attention to sci-fi, a genre he had long had an interest in exploring, Villeneuve made the ballsy decision to produce an aliens-come-to-earth-what-do-they-want feature with minimal action and themes that run far deeper than your average blockbuster, from the basis of relationships and communication, to our place in space and time.
Born out of Ted Chiang’s short story, Story of Your Life, Arrival is an intriguing study of the bizarre spectrum that makes up human nature, spearheaded by a wonderful performance by Amy Adams and another spine-tingling score from Jóhann Jóhannsson. Villeneuve himself exercises subtle, organic direction, resulting in an understated, ultimately enjoyable picture that in a way sums up the low key nature of cinema during 2016. An ideal warm up for Blade Runner 2049.
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