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Arrival

I've been trying to save money lately so I haven't been going to the movies much, but after this week I really needed distraction, so I went to see "Arrival" largely on the basis of its rotten tomatoes score (as late as Monday it was at 100%, so I was curious), and wow, those critics were not wrong. It is absolutely fantastic--probably the most psychologically realistic alien encounter film I've ever seen, and it really just plops you down into Amy Adams (um, I mean Louise Banks') perspective and lets you feel what she's feeling the whole way through. It is not in any way the typical blockbuster alien-encounter film; it's very slow and quiet and unbelievably moving, and even things that might make you think you're being given a standard and somewhat trite emotional arc get completely reimagined by the end of the film.

It's all about the possibility of understanding the other (and ourselves), and about the nature of time and grief and memory and hope, and honestly I felt like it was the absolute perfect film to be watching in this week of despair. I highly recommend it.

I'm not up for really critically analyzing it yet--I'm still processing my emotional responses--but some spoilery comments on the ending after the cut.

The reveal about her daughter--and her relationship with Ian (Jeremy Renner)--and knowing that she chose both of those even knowing what the ending would be left me a complete sobbing wreck for about 15 minutes after the film. And the parallels with Abbott and Costello, and the fact that they must have known what was coming too (and who knows what their relationship was with each other, or the other Heptapods)--oh my heart.

And I realize that I am particularly vulnerable right now to narratives where love and trust defeat fear and militarism, and communication with the radically other is in fact possible, but I don't care, because I really needed to hear that.

This entry is crossposted at http://norwich36.dreamwidth.org/283313.html, but feel free to reply at either place.

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Nora (KK glasses)
norwich36
Nora Norwich

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