A chance to catch one of the best English-language films of the year. The film tends towards what is called ‘hard science fiction’, that is concern with the theoretical and scientific aspects of the future. That is part of its entertainment value, though it is also well produced and enjoys a fine central performance from Amy Adams. She is a linguist recruited by the military to attempt to communicate with visiting aliens. The design of the aliens is as innovative as I have seen in years. A central theme is time: the resolution of the film unlocks the complexities this involves.
The director is Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve who was responsible for the very fine drama Incendies (2010). His two other films have been Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015), demonstrating a varied approach to genre. Whilst the film bears the US tag it was filmed in Canada. The screenplay by Eric Heisserer has been adapted from a short story by Ted Chiang. He seems to specialise in shorter fiction writing and has a high reputation in science fiction circles. This tale has an interesting treatment of language as well as of time.
If you have time and are feeling a little frustrated by the few quality films around over the festive season you can wait a little while and catch a classic: In the Heat of the Night (1967) with award winning performances by Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.