Twelve alien spacecrafts appear all across the world. With no way to communicate with them, the military hires top linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to find a way to communicate with them and to discover the answer to the big question: why are they here?
Right from the beginning, you know the movie isn’t going to be about the aliens. It’s going to be about Amy Adams’ relationship with her daughter, who died at a young age due to cancer. This event seems to permeate throughout Adams’ world, making everything a subdued gray. This is no doubt thanks to the awesome cinematography of Denis Villeneuve, who directs every shot with such intensity that I found myself awed by the framing of every shot.
Amy Adams subdued performance steals the show where she proves once and for all that yes, she is a better actress than Batman v. Superman made her out to be. There’s a subtlety that runs throughout the whole movie that just makes sure that the audience is invested, even when all she’s doing is looking up at the towering ships in awe. From frame one, we are with Adams. Everything that happens and everything that we see only happens because Adams is there to see it. This is truly a movie with only one point of view and that is our heroine.
A movie that springs to mind is Interstellar except it is by far not as flashy. Not only are the stakes just as big but the emotional impact is gut wrenching. There is a spirituality that permeates throughout the film that I can’t really go into detail about for fear of spoiling the movie.
I almost don’t want to say anything more for fear of ruining the movie for people who want to see it. It’s one of those movies where the less you know about it the better. What I can say is that I guarantee that we will be seeing this film at the Oscars or on people’s Top 10 lists of the year. If you love science fiction, go see this movie. If you love movies that stick with you well past when you’ve driven out of the parking lot, go see this movie. For me, this was probably the most important film of the year.