Arrival reviews

Sabin
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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:30 pm

Greg wrote
Sabin, do you think Arrival has any chance to become the first sci-fi film to win Best Picture?

I'm not even sure if it's going to get nominated. One major thing working against it is that of the science-fiction Oscar baits of the past few years (The Martian, Interstellar, Gravity), it's easily going to end up the lowest-grossing. It's also a mix of somber and nerdy in a way that might not connect. It's also a very arty film. That cuts both ways. But Denis Villeneuve has been on the cusp of recognition for some time, so I think it's possible. Right now, I think other films have a stronger inside track.
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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:34 pm

Sabin wrote:I'm not sure if we can track this down, but I will bet that after the Best Supporting Actress race of 2005, when we asked "Will she be back?", nobody said "Yes, every other year until forever."


At the time -- and I say this as someone who thought she gave the best performance of the year in 2005 -- I wasn't sure I'd ever even see Amy Adams again, much less see her back at the Oscars.

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Greg » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:31 pm

Sabin, do you think Arrival has any chance to become the first sci-fi film to win Best Picture?
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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:18 pm

There's really no reason for this specific thread to exist anymore but I'll say this...spoiler-free.

I'm not sure if we can track this down, but I will bet that after the Best Supporting Actress race of 2005, when we asked "Will she be back?", nobody said "Yes, every other year until forever." I will be very surprised if she doesn't get her sixth nomination for this film. Like Jessica Chastain, I go back and forth on Amy Adams. There are times when I think she is very good, other times bland and mannered, and sometimes caught in between. For example, I think her success in American Hustle is hampered by a confused production. But this is the best performance I've seen her give. The best compliment I can give her is that at no point does the filmmaking overshadow her. This is the most gorgeous production of the year but she commands the screen.

To be honest, I'm not sure how this film will do at the Academy Awards. I think there is a chance it will do well. It didn't do incredibly well at the box office this weekend but I think it will stick around. I can't imagine it doesn't pick up nominations for Original Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Effects, and (less deserving but probably a nomination in the bag) Visual Effects. This will probably be Bradford Young's first nomination for Best Cinematography. Joe Walker's editing is probably a good bet too. He was nominated for 12 Years a Slave, so he's in the club now. And there is so much empathy for Amy Adams' character that I have a hard time not seeing her nominated.

Beyond that? I think it's in the running for Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay. The Academy is still iffy with science-fiction, but I have to believe that if Interstellar was better they would've nominated it -- and Inception wasn't, but they still did. The people I've spoken to describe Arrival as something very special because of its emotional ending, so I think that could help it later in the year. I know I'm pulling for it.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Sabin » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:36 pm

I'll respond in a bit. I think this movie wins the award for movie I liked the most that I would certainly hate had anybody else directed it.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Okri » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:20 pm

Greg wrote:
The Original BJ wrote:I think what I liked best about the movie was the way that, once you accept the premise that aliens have landed on Earth, everything that follows feels like a pretty grounded portrait of how people might respond to that -- how the American military/government might respond to the potential threat, how Amy Adams's linguist might respond to trying to learn their language, how the world might respond on a geopolitical level.


One reason I much prefer films dealing with aliens along the lines of E.T. and Contact to those like Independence Day is that I cannot believe stories about violent aliens. Humans are clearly the only technical species in our solar system (there might be microbial species on other planets or moons, etc.), so, any alien species that visits the Earth would need to have reached a level of science and technology compatible for inter-stellar travel. At our level of science and technology, we humans have come dangerously close to blowing ourselves up. No violent species could reach the scientific/technological level for inter-stellar travel without blowing itself up first; so, I just cannot buy into stories about violent aliens.

Anyway, how would I react to Arrival on my E.T./Contact to Independence Day scale?


Far, far closer to Contact

Enthralling filmmaking (though I will say that I didn't entirely get the choice to make is so visually dark; I actually couldn't tell it was Michael Stuhlbarg in that role until about halfway through the movie) - the trio of Young, Johannson and the sound crew do terrific work (with a major assist from Max Richter's "On the Nature of Daylight"). Didn't mind the last act too much - though I want a second viewing before debating it.

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Greg » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:38 pm

The Original BJ wrote:I think what I liked best about the movie was the way that, once you accept the premise that aliens have landed on Earth, everything that follows feels like a pretty grounded portrait of how people might respond to that -- how the American military/government might respond to the potential threat, how Amy Adams's linguist might respond to trying to learn their language, how the world might respond on a geopolitical level.


One reason I much prefer films dealing with aliens along the lines of E.T. and Contact to those like Independence Day is that I cannot believe stories about violent aliens. Humans are clearly the only technical species in our solar system (there might be microbial species on other planets or moons, etc.), so, any alien species that visits the Earth would need to have reached a level of science and technology compatible for inter-stellar travel. At our level of science and technology, we humans have come dangerously close to blowing ourselves up. No violent species could reach the scientific/technological level for inter-stellar travel without blowing itself up first; so, I just cannot buy into stories about violent aliens.

Anyway, how would I react to Arrival on my E.T./Contact to Independence Day scale?
The fact that #ScotusPick Kavanuaugh believes that a President cannot be indicted is an automatic disqualification from Supreme Court consideration.
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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:54 pm

Sabin wrote:How does this film compare to Contact?


You know...it's been at least 15 years since I've seen Contact -- which was half my life ago -- so I don't know that I could make a direct comparison. My memory is that Contact is a bit more uneven overall, with definite exciting high points, but also some real only-in-Hollywood moments. I don't think people will be as ANNOYED with Arrival's ending as much as some folks HATED Contact's big reveal, though.

I will say that it's worth pointing out just how many space-themed movies seem to deal with loss of a family member as a crucial aspect of the story, with Arrival following in the recent tradition of Interstellar, Gravity, and Contact.

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Sabin » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:37 pm

How does this film compare to Contact?

The Original BJ wrote
On a performance level, Adams is solid throughout, though I'd say she carries the movie intelligently and movingly without necessarily delivering a tour de force at any point. (More and more, I'm thinking that the Best Actress race will likely be Stone/Portman way out in front...and then some combination of three other people about at the same level duking it out for the remaining spots.)

I've become pretty convinced that Emma Stone is going to win this. She is going into the Oscar race with several huge advantages. She is:

-- The emotional center of a film that looks like a Best Picture heavy. Which is always a good thing.
-- She's a recent, previous nominee. She may be young, but so was Brie Larson. And Emma Stone has done everything she needs to do in this industry to be taken seriously for a win.
-- She sings, apparently quite well, and she's not known for being a singer. So this role can be perceived as challenging.
-- She is probably a lock for the Golden Globe for Best Comedic/Musical Actress.
-- She's playing a struggling actress with a fading dream. That's...probably going to help her at the SAG awards.
-- Her closest competition (Natalie Portman) is a recent winner.

Let's say she doesn't win any critic's awards? She's in a very good position to win. If she does? She's in an even better position. What's working against her? I dunno...not much.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:58 pm

It's interesting to me Denis Villeneuve doesn't write his movies, because so many of them have the same structural problem in the writing. Which is to say, I think Arrival is about three-quarters of an impressive movie, and then, as with Prisoners and Sicario, I didn't find the ending fully satisfying. I don't think it goes splat at its finale or anything, but I'd say it definitely wobbles on its way to the finish line.

But through much of the film, I was pretty enraptured by the filmmaking. It's patient and methodical, full of evocative images and graceful camerawork that really creates a haunting mood throughout. And the sound design is AMAZING -- one of the first comments my friend and I exchanged after the movie was about how noticeable the soundtrack (both score and effects) were at building the sense of dread and mystery that envelops much of the film.

I think what I liked best about the movie was the way that, once you accept the premise that aliens have landed on Earth, everything that follows feels like a pretty grounded portrait of how people might respond to that -- how the American military/government might respond to the potential threat, how Amy Adams's linguist might respond to trying to learn their language, how the world might respond on a geopolitical level. I think the film's central thrust -- the focus on linguistics, and the struggles and successes of learning to communicate with these alien beings, so that the world might understand why they have come to Earth -- is pretty compelling stuff. And I liked that the movie wasn't ever smart aleck-y in its tone -- sort of necessary for a movie that begins with the death of Adams's character's child -- while still finding a way to incorporate some gentle humor along the way. This clearly isn't a movie that wants to be a thrill ride, but instead a work of thoughtful science fiction for grown-ups, and I was pretty much on board through a lot of it.

But then I think the movie heads off in a direction that I thought brought a few bumps to the road, and there's no way to discuss this without major spoilers, so I'm just going to start a new spoiler thread for that conversation once the movie is closer to opening and everyone will be able to see/discuss.

On a performance level, Adams is solid throughout, though I'd say she carries the movie intelligently and movingly without necessarily delivering a tour de force at any point. (More and more, I'm thinking that the Best Actress race will likely be Stone/Portman way out in front...and then some combination of three other people about at the same level duking it out for the remaining spots.)

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Re: Arrival reviews

Postby Greg » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:54 pm

Here is the official trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4Q4kXw2M1Y
The fact that #ScotusPick Kavanuaugh believes that a President cannot be indicted is an automatic disqualification from Supreme Court consideration.
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Arrival reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:42 pm

The other half of Amy Adams' one-two punch. Neither film has undeniable raves, but she's getting high praise for both.

http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/ar ... 201849485/

http://www.screendaily.com/reviews/arri ... tentID=598

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review ... iew-924941


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