Finally an Alien Movie without Gore

By:Katherine Naylor

In honor of the Oscars tonight, I want to focus on one of my favorite films of the year: Arrival directed by Denis Villeneuve. The film follows the story of a linguistic Professor who is selected to help communicate with aliens who have come to earth. As I did with my review of La La Land, I will put in my personal opinion on the film’s Oscar nominations. arrival_670.jpg

Image from source

But first, the reason why this film is fantastic. We have all seen the alien films filled with violence, gore and overall no “bigger meaning.” This film however, paints the aliens in a much better light as non-violent creatures who want to help humans. Spoiler alert: They have come to earth to provide humans with the power to use their language. Dr. Banks, the protagonist, gains the ability to read their language. With this, she gains the power to see the future and the past, while in the present. The film ends with the question: what actually is the present? With her ability, time is no longer linear.

As my five friends and I finished the film, we all argued what time the film actually took place in. It got to the point where we had to google explanations  for the film’s endings. But that is the power of this film, that it gives audiences the fuel to have a continued discussion when the film is over. I believe that is when one knows a film is a “good film”: you want to keep discussing the film after the film is over.

Below are my Oscar predications for Arrival

Best Picture: PASS I totally agree that this film deserved the nomination for Best Picture, however, I do not think it will win due to previous award shows. I also don’t think it holds enough of “deeper meaning” that Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea portrays.

Cinematography: WIN. The cinematography in this film is simply beautiful and doesn’t compare to the other films in the this category. The cinematographer had to make a black floating disk seem almost magical- that is pretty impressive.

Directing: PASS. Once again, I understand why this film is nominated for this category and believe that it should have been! Villeneuve did a fantastic job, but I think the final scene in La La Land will win the oscar for Damien Chazelle.

Film Editing: PASS. Once again, I think the final scene in La La Land will snag this award.

Production Design: WIN: They made an alien space craft. Come on!



Sound Editing: WIN: The sound in this film is paramount to the storyline and moves the audience. Without the sound editing, I am not sure this film would have been as successful which is why I don’t think it should win Best Picture, but deserves this win.

Sound Mixing: PASS I think this should go to Rouge One.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): WIN: Due to the complexity of the story line, and the time variables that would be extremely hard to organize for a writer, I believe it should win this category.

Image from source 




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5 Responses to Finally an Alien Movie without Gore

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I have not seen this film yet but have heard great things, and from your review I definitely want to see it! It is very interesting to see that you predicted it to win awards unrelated to the plot and acting but rather the other elements that go into filming. I rarely think about the impact of the cinematography and production and the massive effect that these have on the overall success of the movie. I cannot wait to watch it soon!

    –Maddie Turner

  2. mediaphiles says:

    My friends still keep promoting this movie to me and I know I have to watch it. It seems thought-provoking and brilliant. It looks beautiful and can have a deeper message. I look forward to seeing Arrival.

    -Jordan Hansgen

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Yes! Arrival is so unique to the si-fis we usually get. I love it mainly because of its unusually paced narrative and the ending with the bursting emotions. It remains one of my favorites of last year, and I’m glad that it got one oscar, even a minor one.

    -Kevin Yu

  4. mediaphiles says:

    When it was announced that Denis Villeneuve was making a sci-fi film I was ready to see it opening night. I’m a huge fan of Villeneuve and his work ethic is something to be admired and emulated by aspiring filmmakers. I’m so upset that I never got the chance to see this film in theaters and I’m still waiting to see it one day. It was one of my most anticipated of 2016 and it seems to me that it’s soaring over expectations and is a must-see.

    – Cal

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Katherine! We need to talk about “Arrival!” I loved it so much! Cal and I were just having a conversation tonight regarding the power that the sound editing and cinematography bring to the screen, along with the powerful acting. Every turn of the way, I felt that I was working to piece together a puzzle and it was amazing to have the realization that came towards the end of the film! Thank you!

    Luke Dellorso

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