Arrival premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 11th, 2016 and on November 11th, 2016 in the United States.
Based on the short story Story of Your Life written in 1998 by Ted Chiang, the film shows the struggle of linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to interpret and learn an alien language after twelve mysterious spaceships land on Earth.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Arrival got a vast number of nominations including Best Motion Picture and Best Achievement in Directing in the Oscars. Surpassing the expectations, Denis Villeneuve´s movie had a 191.3 million dollars’ box office, which is a huge profit compared to its 47 million budget.
Arrival gives a twist to the same old “aliens invading Earth and trying to exterminate the human species” plot that Hollywood is saturated with. It is invigorating to see a movie breaking the pattern stablished by sci-fi many years ago. For once, a film portrays the first alien-human contact that does not involve exploding something. Both the overall public and critiques seem to have enjoyed this refreshing take since the movie had an approval rating of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, which was based on over 301 reviews.
Arrival carries an intense emotional charge, it holds the viewer in suspense making the audience ask themselves what do the aliens want, why are they here, and are their motives good or bad? While that mysterious expectation is carried throughout all alien movies, in Arrival it is intertwined with a question that often goes unanswered: how do we depict what they are saying?
Playing with time travel, our own understanding of language, and the possibilities of extraterrestrials, Arrival leaves the audience wondering about the many possibilities of what many believed to be impossible.