On Monday I dragged my roommate Emily out to watch Arrival - primarily to see Amy Adams (yay fellow redheads!), but also because it was getting some good reviews. We got popcorn and snuggled into these epic lounge chairs (a true mystery at our local junky 80's 16-plex) and prepared ourselves for aliens.

I must confess that I don't really like movies about space. I'm afraid of space. Like terrified. I can handle films like Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy, but something like Gravity was an absolute NO for me. The idea of floating away into the dangerous darkness of space is a nightmare. So....I was a little apprehensive about Arrival. But to my surprise and delight, I was wrong.

The film starts off with an emotional barrage of scenes dealing with Amy Adams' child's tragic illness so tears were rolling down my cheeks within the first 10 minutes. From there we follow Adams' character, a well known linguist and language professor whose life forever changes when she is called upon to help translate the language of aliens who have landed on Earth. 

I don't want to give away too much of the plot if you haven't seen it yet, but the story is nothing like I thought it would be. The main themes dealt with were the fear of the unknown and the unfamiliar and how that fear can either drive us towards understanding and compassion or turn violent. Adams is a champion of working towards understanding the alien race, which would ultimately benefit humanity. Her methods are called into question by those who would rather attack the aliens even if it meant starting a world war. Amy Adams has always been an actor who admire for her depth of emotion and her performance in Arrival is no exception. 

One thing that really stood out with this film was the sound mixing and the score. I'm not usually the most observant when it comes to sound quality, but the soundscapes in this film were unbelievably gorgeous. The music composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson is haunting and intense. It makes scenes, which might have otherwise have fallen flat, dramatic and sharp.

 I was very emotionally affected by this film and definitely cried quite a bit afterwards. It was beautiful, resonant, and has stuck with me days after seeing it. Arrival is an absolute must see.

What should I see next? On my list: Moonlight, Hell or High Water, and of course Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

(photo credit: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4)

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