I’m on again, off again with Denis Villeneuve; I’m unabashedly wild about Enemy, but I never could stand Prisoners and I can only enjoy Sicario as long as I don’t think too much about it. With Arrival, I’m closer to Enemy than not – it worked on me, and worked on everyone around me, which may be because it’s genuinely good or perhaps because we’re all in need of uplift in light of how the presidential election turned out. It’s the kind of movie that probably demands two viewings to fully nail down one’s feelings about it.
I’m not there yet, but in the meantime, my review for Paste Magazine, which I wrote after just one viewing, shows the film in a pretty positive light. I can’t fault a movie like this for trying too hard. Looks great, too. (And Amy Adams is the best.)