Put another notch in the ‘A list’ belt for Amy Adams.
Hard to underestimate Lois Lane at this point, but she anchors this science fiction film for the grownups, playing a linguistics professor who gets called into duty when several spaceships arrive from outer space and position themselves strategically around the planet. Forrest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner round out the main cast for the best intellectual sci fi film in recent memory (yeah I said it).
I don’t consider sci fi my number one genre, but one of the things I’ve always admired about it is the way the best of its stories are so well suited to serve as parables for current events. In this story, the inciting action is aliens make their presence known to us. But they don’t attack. So the human race has their defenses up. Some want to strike first since they obviously have superior technology. Most aren’t sure how to react initially but the fear is palpable. The American team tries to communicate and establish a common ground and some type of rapport first (stop laughing).
To go much deeper into the plot is to give away the experience of the movie. I’ll tell you it benefits from a second viewing but I don’t think it’s a movie you ‘have to’ watch twice. The way it all comes together feels earned. Definitely a throwback feeling watching this when you could enjoy a ‘big’ movie completely on its own and not worry one way or another about a potential sequel.
This one deserves a Best Picture nomination. We’ll see if it gets one soon enough.