{5/5} “Like their ship or their bodies, their written language has no forward or backward direction. Linguists call this non-linear orthography. Which raises the question: Is this how they think?”

Arrival, released in 2016

Twelve alien ships come to Earth and park themselves in seemingly random places. Louise, a linguist, is summoned by the army — with which she worked before on translations — to the one in Montana. There she meets Ian, a physicist. They go into the ship to speak to the aliens. The army has questions they want answered, but the aliens are interested in giving something more personal.

I love the shape of the alien ships, and the alien nature of the aliens — their look, their sounds, their form of writing. We feel what Louise feels throughout her journey.

Quick, name another movie where a linguist is the hero. This is one to watch and savour.

Watching it for the 2nd time is a different experience. The first time there’s one aspect that you don’t realize until the end, and the 2nd time you have that knowledge all the way through.*

It’s about the joy and difficulties of communication, working together, and love.

It’s based on a story by Ted Chiang (Exhalation).

Stars Amy Adams. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049). The mysterious music is by Jóhann Jóhannsson.

My previous review is here.

Spoiler alert

*Louise’s dreams of her and her daughter are from the future, not the past.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 9:55 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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