Amy Adams has unfortunately inherited the mantle Kate Winslet had to drag around for a decade: “Best Actress Without An Oscar”. Nominated six times, she’s 0 for 5 (the verdict is still out on 2019’s nomination). Adams has put together an amazing body of work since she broke out in 2005’s Junebug and earned her first Oscar nod. Whether in supporting roles as in Doubt, Charlie Wilson’s War, or Her; or as a lead in American Hustle, Big Eyes, or Enchanted, Adams always delivers strong performances. I think her best performance was American Hustle, but her best movie was 2016’s science fiction masterpiece Arrival. In the age of the comic book movie, most stars have been snapped up by DC or Marvel. Adams has played Lois Lane in the DCEU in Man of Steel (which was good) and Batman vs. Superman (which was really not but not Adams’ fault). It’s an unfortunate reality that quality actresses have a harder time finding quality roles as they age. Adams is defying this trend, and eventually, the Academy will recognize her as one of the strongest actresses of the last 30 years.
Amy Adams’ Best 10
1. Arrival (2016), Louise Banks
2. American Hustle (2013), Sydney Prosser
3. Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Bonnie Bach
4. Catch Me If You Can (2002), Brenda Strong
5. Enchanted (2007), Giselle
6. Doubt (2008), Sister James
7. Julie & Julia (2009), Julie Powell
8. The Fighter (2010), Charlene Fleming
9. Junebug (2005), Ashley
10. Big Eyes (2014), Margaret Keane Honorable Mention: Her (2013), Amy
I think that The Arrival will be the movie that finally puts Denis Villeneuve on the map as one of the best directors in Hollywood (if Sicario hadn’t already). The alien visitation plot is something that’s been done a million times in a million ways in science fiction, but Villeneuve finds a way to take a fresh approach; focusing on communication between the species, the differences in perception two completely separate species would encounter about self, about family, and about time. Alien obelisks have landed all over the globe causing panic. Amy Adams does her normal stellar job playing a linguist brought in to try to communicate with them to see what they want and why they’re here. That’s all you’re getting on plot, because if you’re a fan of Villeneuve, you know there’s usually an “O.Henry” moment (the author not the candy bar, people) of plot pay-off that knocks you on your flat on your butt. Continue reading Movie Review: The Arrival (2016) “Another Villeneuve Masterpiece”→
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario), the film is based on Ted Chiang’s 1998 novella Story of Your Life with a script with Eric Heisserer (The Thing (2011)). When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. “This isn’t a graphic-novel universe or creating a new universe. This happens in our world today, as it exists,” Adams said previously of the grounded approach. “Not having to transport myself to a universe where superheroes exist, which is also fun, really helped me ground the character and the experience.”
Jeremy Renner also stars in the film as a physicist, with the actor saying: “I haven’t played a smart nerdy guy. I thought there was a great challenge in that.”
Renner also spoke about the film’s tone, saying it’s not like a “big Michael Bay alien movie” but instead compared it to the works of Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg. “If you’re a parent, it’s going to wreck you,” he said. “It’s big and there are thriller elements and tension, but it’s going to lean much more into a thinking person’s film.”
Arrival will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 2 before debuting in theaters on November 11.
Denis Villenueve is the best director in Hollywood that no one had heard of. He’s made three flawless films in Incendies, Prisoners, and Sicario, and has developed a reputation for riveting narratives, innovative direction, and stories that leave the audience feeling like someone punched them between the eyes. Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Forrest Whitaker, and Jeremy Renner, is a big departure from the grittiness of his other films, but I will go see any film Villeneueve directs the day it is released. This is a teaser with a full trailer promised to arrive soon. Arrival opens in theaters on November 11, 2016.
When mysterious spacecrafts touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.