With 5 nominations in the major categories, including Best Picture and Best Director, Arrival from director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) is certainly among the favorites in this edition of the Oscars.
Arrival has quickly become a cult movie: critics have been heaping praise ever since it premiered at the last Venice International Film Festival -the same festival where was presented La La Land, its antagonist in the sparkling Oscar night.
Science fiction thriller on language and time, Arrival is another confirmation that the director Denis Villeneuve is undoubtedly one of the most interesting names in contemporary cinema. No coincidence that while waiting to know how many Oscars will be awarded his film, Villeneuve is already back in the editing room to assemble the sequel of Blade Runner, which hits theaters next year.
And now some trivias about the movie and the categories it’s been nominated for. The script comes from a science fiction short story, just like Blade Runner: this time it is not taken from multi-transposed writer Philip K. Dick, but from the Chinese author Ted Chiang, whose title is Story of your life. The same title was used at the beginning also for the movie, as long as the producers decided to change it because it provided “too many clues” about the plot of the film.
The editing had a crucial role during the post production: the movie had several structural problems after the first assembly work and this required to the editor Joe Walker a lot of work to make smarter some of the movie’s passages. In an interview he told how the same Villeneuve and himself will have striven to blend multiple scenes into one, without the viewer noticing anything, and they even invented some new sequences from already shot material. The trick in the resulting movie is truly invisible, and for that reason I think it’d deserve the Academy Award for Film Editing.
As for the cinematography, director of photography Bradford Young was in charge of it: the feeling that he wanted to convey was, in his own words, “those gray rainy Tuesday morning, when it’s early and you have to go to school.” I can confirm that the feeling is just that, and it helps a lot to empathize with the story of the protagonist.
The one who didn’t receive a nomination was the movie’s feature star, Amy Adams, that definitely offers a very high level performance. So far, she hasn’t won a golden statuette yet, even if she’s been already nominated five times for an Academy Award. Be careful Amy, DiCaprio curse is just around the corner!
Here’s some behind-the-scenes pictures: feature stars Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner with director Denis Villeneuve