Hollywood Odds: “Arrival” Trailers suggest a serious science fiction contender

Last week, we got one of our very best looks yet at Arrival, what could be 2016’s big science fiction awards player. Yes, there’s also Passengers, to name one other, but this one has now dropped a few Trailers, so that puts it in the early lead. Boasting one of the most interesting directors out there in Denis Villeneuve, not to mention one of the most overdue for an Oscar actresses in Amy Adams, there’s some star power on hand. It’s always hard to pin down whether sci-fi will play with voters, but this definitely looks like an intelligent film that could have a chance for Oscar contention. You’ll see a Trailer below, but first…let’s discuss the movie itself a bit!

The film is a sci-fi drama centering on a well regarded linguist Dr. Louise Banks (Adams) who is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications when mysterious spaceships arrive on Earth. Working with counterpart in the operation Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), it is Louise’s job to figure out if these visitors come in peace. As the clock runs down, the possibility of war arrives, but also of scientific breakthroughs like never before. Villeneuve directs a script by Eric Heisserer (who adapted the short story by Ted Chiang called Story of Your Life), while the rest of the cast includes Michael Stuhlbarg, Forest Whitaker, and more. Music is by Jóhann Jóhannsson and Max Richter, while the cinematography comes from the emerging master DP that is Bradford Young. Suffice to say, the ingredients are here for something great.

There’s a ton of talent on display here, as I just mentioned. Not only is this a starring vehicle for Adams, it looks like a juicy supporting role for Renner as well. Factor in how Villeneuve has developed a following of late and the strength of the other behind the scenes players, and there’s certainly reason to be excited. Perhaps this will be too serious for its own good, or more of a commercial play overall, but you certainly can be forgiven for thinking this has a solid chance to split the difference and appeal to the Academy in some way.

Awards wise, Arrival definitely has a chance to be a contender in a number of fields, though nothing is certain. Look for campaigns in Best Picture, Best Director (for Villeneuve), Best Actress (for Adams), Best Supporting Actor (for Renner), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Heisserer), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography (for Young), Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Visual Effects. There’s no telling how the flick will play in this regard, so anything is possible, but if it has got the goods, one has to assume Adams will be in contention for her first win, and that would be something quite nice.

We still have a little bit to go before Arrival debuts on the festival circuit, and even longer until its November release date, but it’s a film I’m very excited to see for myself. The potential is there for a really entertaining, thought provoking, and even moving motion picture. Serious sci-fi has a hard time with Oscar, but nothing is out of the question just yet. As much as anything else, it’s just a movie to hotly anticipate. You’ll see what I mean in that Trailer below, and sit tight for plenty more on this one before too long. It is shaping up to be one of the year’s bigger releases, or at least one of the fall’s…

Here now is the latest Trailer for Arrival:

Stay tuned for lots more on Arrival over the coming weeks and months!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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