Wednesday, August 10, 2016

First teaser for Denis Villeneuve's 'Arrival' is dazzling

Denis Villeneuve seemed to come out of nowhere a few years ago, but today, he has firmly set himself up as one of the most prolific filmmakers on the planet. Incendies was a huge hit with critics in 2010, but I think it's fair to say that 2013's Prisoners was his big breakthrough moment. The bleak and harrowing family thriller was simply astounding, and in addition to the stellar performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film announced Villeneuve as a director to watch. His reputation only grew with 2014's Enemy and last year's Sicario (one of my favorites of the year), and at this rate, Villeneuve is on his way to being a directorial icon. He'll be taking on Blade Runner next, but before that happens, Villeneuve's Arrival is heading to cinemas as his first experiment in the sci-fi genre. Arrival will be premiering at the Venice Film Festival before heading to Toronto (and presumably Telluride), and it's being billed as a cross between Close Encounters and Stanley Kubrick. Which means that it's definitely one of my most anticipated of the year. Yesterday, Paramount released the first teaser for the film. Check it out below!

Paramount and others have been quick to advertise that the full trailer for Arrival will debut next week (Tuesday to be exact), but honestly, do you need to see any more? This is the kind of excellent tease that we simply don't see enough in today's information-driven trailers. From this one-minute clip, I understand the basics of the plot and the characters, and most importantly, I understand what the mood of the film will be. Because that's what trailers are meant to do. They shouldn't be a beat-for-beat breakdown of the plot. It's a brief clip that conveys the mood of the piece. But enough about the awful state of trailers in Hollywood- let's talk about Arrival! This looks excellent, a bold, thought-provoking piece of sci-fi cinema. The territory here is a little worn, but I'm confident that Villeneuve can put his own spin on things. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker are a formidable trio, and I like Villeneuve's trend of strong, smart female leads (see- Emily Blunt in Sicario). This trailer has a great sense of atmosphere, and if the buzz is any indication, Arrival could be something special. The film will premiere at Venice on September 2 before debuting in theaters on November 11.

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