“Arrival” has, well, arrived at the Venice Film Festival, and the glowing reviews should turn this popcorn picture into a strong Oscar contender, much like “The Martian” last year. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, follows a linguist (Amy Adams), recruited by the military to try to communicate with aliens.
It’s science-fiction, a genre that is not often represented at the Oscars, but this one has quite the lofty pedigree. This is the first big studio film for Villeneuve, after helming gritty dramas like “Incendies” (2010 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film), “Prisoners” and “Sicario” as well as the trippy, experimental “Enemy.” His unique approach is a large part of the film’s appeal to critics.
And Adams is long overdue for Oscar gold. Since her 2005 breakthrough film “Junebug,” she has already accrued five nominations. One more without a win would tie the records of Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr and Glenn Close who all went 0 for six.
Do you think “Arrival” will be an Oscar contender? Check out some of the rave reviews below, and then be sure to make your Oscar predictions HERE. Don’t worry, you can keep changing your predictions right up until Oscar nominations are announced on Jan. 24.
David Rooney (Hollywood Reporter): “‘Arrival’ boldly snubs the standard alien-invasion vernacular of contemporary movies to explore a mood and language of its own. It may be a touch too subdued for the mainstream, but the movie has brains and originality, qualities these days too seldom valued in the genre.”
Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian): “‘Arrival’ is a big, risky, showy movie which jumps up on its high-concept highwire and disdains a net. And yes, there are moments of silliness when it wobbles a little, but it provides you with spectacle and fervent romance.”
Robbie Collin (The Telegraph): “The time to pull this stuff apart probably isn’t two months before Arrival’s UK release, so let’s just say the food for thought on offer here is Michelin-star-worthy. It turns an already beautiful, provocative allegory into the kind of science-fiction that can bump your whole worldview off balance. This is riveting, dizzying stuff from Villeneuve, and another early peak in a thunderously exciting year at the Venice Film Festival.”
Jessica Kiang (The Playlist): “‘Arrival,’ the shimmering apex of Villeneuve’s run of form that started back in 2010 with ‘Incendies,’ calmly, unfussily and with superb craft, thinks its way out of the black hole that tends to open up when ideas like time travel, alien contact and the next phase of human evolution are bandied about … it’s Villeneuve’s dedicated intelligence that brings it off the page and onto the screen with an apparent simplicity that connotes a refreshing faith not just in the material, but in the audience.”
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