Dearest Blog: Yesterday it was off to Marquee cinemas for sci-fi awards contender Arrival.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
When extra-terrestrial crafts land at a dozen spots across the globe, a linguist (Amy Adams) and a scientist (Jeremy Renner) head one of the teams responsible for deciphering the aliens' language and determining the reason for their appearance.
Dear reader(s), you may recall my saying, on many occasions, that I do not read reviews before I write my own. This remains true, though it could not escape my notice that Arrival is carrying outstanding scores on many websites and has already received perfect ratings from two of my movie-reviewing pals.
But...hey...I guess if you wanted someone else's opinion you wouldn't be here, right? Arrival has a good deal going for it. From a purely visual standpoint, it is lovely, with bleak landscapes that underline the movie's tense tone and a glorious depiction of the aliens' written language.
Interactions between the visitors from space and our intrepid interpreters are absolutely stunning. Both Adams and Renner are terrific, and their wonder and earnestness are contagious; you'll be holding your breath, hoping these are ET-aliens and not Alien-aliens.
Johann Johannsson has provided a stunning, intense score that commands your attention, yet never upstages the action onscreen. Arrival has many positive messages about cooperation and not assuming the worst and beginnings and endings and, really, life in general.
That being said: Arrival is about the best insomnia cure you could get for seven dollars and fifty-cents. The movie plods along like an overlong Doctor Who episode and often seems utterly lost in itself.
I made it about 20 minutes before the struggle to stay awake began in earnest, and it was a mighty struggle indeed for the remainder of the picture's not-excessive runtime. Unlike last year's trundling would-be masterpiece, The Revenant, this one can't be saved by its physical beauty.
Arrival clocks in at a very reasonable 116 minutes and is rated PG13 for "brief strong language." Arrival will almost certainly make most best picture shortlists this Awards Season.
It'll probably take home some of those trophies, and maybe it'll even deserve to, but I'd take a one-way trip to outer-space before I'd watch it again.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Arrival gets five. Until next time...