It was already on our must-see list, but when, last week, a quick tease was released for Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, I decided to wait for the full trailer. Good thing, too, because it’s is better edited and far more intriguing. The science fiction/first contact film based on Ted Chiang’s Nebula Award-winning Story of Your Life stars Amy Adams as an expert linguist recruited by the government to help communicate with newly arrived visitors to our fair warring planet.
I can’t help thinking we could use that kind of unifying distraction right about now; if aliens can’t save us from the Trumpster, I don’t know what will. Forest Whitaker’s Colonel Weber takes charge of the military mission, and Jeremy Renner as mathematician (ooh-kay) — and presumed (wishful thinking?) future casualty — Ian Donnelly hangs by her side as Adams’ Dr. Louise Banks attempts to sort out alien communication, which seems to have evolved since Roy Neary built larger-than-model-sized lumpy mountains and a few key notes got him invited to fly the friendly galaxskies. With exactly the right amount of looming uncertainty, and a creepy, splatting starfish whose appendages are faintly reminiscent of facehugger friends, Villeneuve perfectly sets the stage for his own alien thriller. See for yourself:
Am I right, or am I right? Nanu nanu and may the force be with us, because I have no idea whether these critters are friend or foe.
Arrival also stars Tzi Ma, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Mark O’Brien; it lands in theaters November 11th.