One morning, the world wakes to find alien spacecraft have quietly and gently arrived in various places around the planet. There are 12 alien pods in total and as they hover quietly just above the Earth, the planet waits nervously as the military of many nations move in.
It is during these first few days that linguistic expert Louise (Adams) is approached to help the military communicate with the aliens. She wants to do it her way but because it is the military and they like to be the boss of the world, they pass her over for someone else. A few days later, just as the sun is setting over Louise’s peaceful lakeside home, a helicopter arrives requesting her help…. again. It is duly noted that this military chopper is big and loud and bright and it seems to literally shatter Louise’s peaceful world as someone official barks orders to this quiet, unassuming woman.
But away she flies to meet her destiny.
Once at the site of the alien pod that has landed in the United States, Louise meets scientist Ian (Renner) and it is now she learns that she and Ian will be tasked with the most important question of all…… why are the aliens here. They are prepped and jabbed and along with the ever present military personnel and weapons, are taken to the pod. Their ascent into the pod and subsequent first meeting with the aliens is so Kubrick-esque that I was almost waiting to hear Hal speak.
As Louise and Ian attempt to communicate with the aliens, called Heptapods, it soon becomes apparent this is no ordinary movie. The process is slow and frustrating for the characters as well as the viewer and after an alarming message is relayed by the aliens with only Louise and Ian (the non military types) calling for calm, an Us vs Them mentality soon develops.
The story of Louise and her daughter weaves it’s way through the narrative at surprising and regular intervals. It is heartbreaking and expertly told and offers a glimpse of who this woman really is and why it becomes increasingly clear that she is the only one who can save us all.
Arrival is the most wonderful and moving sci-fi movie I have seen in a very long time. It is definitely the best of the alien arrival movies … ever. To delve too deeply into the plot would be to spoil it entirely. The story unfolds, as I noted, slowly and at the pace it needs to unfold. You will need to watch with an open mind and when it seems like it no longer makes sense, that’s when it will all start to make sense.
If you are a sci-fi fan, please don’t miss this one as it takes sci-fi to a wonderful new level. If you are not a sci-fi fan but love a really well told story, please don’t miss it either … it’s not ‘too’ sci-fi 🙂
Love Sue-Ellen xx
Director : Denis Villeneuve
Starring : Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O’Brien, Tazi Ma, Abigail Pniowsky, Julia Scarlett Dan
Running Time : 116 minutes
Release Date : November 10