I don't think I had seen a movie in an actual theater since seeing Flo Fo in London in July, but this weekend Joe and I had some time to kill on Saturday while in Madison for his dad's birthday. Not really realizing that Arrival had opened, it was the perfect flick to catch that afternoon, and it provided an opportunity for me to see the first contender for Best Actress (besides Meryl of course) in action.
Super quick synopsis: linguist Louise Banks (Adams) is tasked with trying to communicate with aliens that have landed in various parts of the world. She essentially deciphers their language and learns that it allows one to think a different way, where essentially time ceases to be linear, providing glimpses into the future.
The main attraction here is the story, not so much the characters, in my opinion. Adams does a great job with her character, in that she had to portray a someone at different levels of awareness of her own experiences. What dos that mean? Basically that she had to grapple with these flashbacks/flashforwards while simultaneously dealing with the overwhelming pressure from the government to prevent war. I can't help but be reminded of Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Sort of sci-fi, female professional, loss of young daughter, isolation, pressure-cooker scenarios. Likewise certainly nomination worthy.
Great strengths for this film are that it is very well received by critics (93% on Rotten Tomatoes) and will perform spectacularly strongly in cinemas. Florence Foster Jenkins similarly garnered good to great reviews, but its summer release and meager box office returns no doubt put it at a disadvantage as far as visibility. Then again, Meryl is kind of in her own category when it comes to nominations. When comparing characters and performances only, Meryl wins hands down between these two. Of course I'm biased, but I expect I may be singing a different tune after I see Jackie. Until then, I have to say Meryl is still in first place. Many more to come.