The holidays are a heady time for film fans, as new franchise additions and award competitors alike prepare to befuddle the box office. It’s an ideal time for familiar titles to take advantage of potential family outings, yet December 31st also marks the end of Oscar eligibility. For contenders to get a foot in the door, distributors must try to publicize their film’s premieres amidst all the chaos of holiday debuts.
As new alien thriller Arrival prepares to descend on theaters next week, distributor Paramount is ramping up the film’s publicity. Though critics recognized the film for its emotional weight, intriguing plot, and stunning visuals when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year (you can read some of those reviews here), the film is still slated to bump up against some serious box office competition. Sandwiched between the release dates of Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this moody drama is looking to stand out against its lively franchise rivals. Highlight the fact that the film is premiering in IMAX, Paramount just released several stunning images and two new clips from Arrival that highlight its larger-than-life feel.
This new images, via CBM, build on the same emotionally resonant material that the film’s team has been putting out for the past few months. We see Amy Adams attempt to take control of her team’s negotiations, the actor hard at work as linguist Dr. Louise Banks, and even catch a few glimpses of director Denis Villeneuve in his wheelhouse. Check out one clip above, and the second here, followed by a gallery of brand new images, below.
These new clips offer a closer look at Arrival‘s stunning yet sparse story by Eric Heisserer (Lights Out), as well as Amy Adams’s already acclaimed performance as Dr. Louise Banks. These materials paint a better picture of Ian (Jeremy Renner) and Colonel Weber’s (Forrest Whitaker) involvement in the overall plot as well — it looks like Ian and Louise work especially closely together. It’s also always cool to see some behind the scenes shots, with director Denis Villeneuve stepping into the world of the film to help shape Amy Adams’s performance.
All in all, it looks like the visuals for this film will be equally as stunning as its premise, which manages to subtly depict a struggle for inter-species understanding amidst worldwide terror. Even the symbols Louise and Ian are studying — pieces of the alien language they must unravel in order to help understand why the otherworldly race has descended — are beautiful in their aesthetic austerity. Though we’re hesitant to judge any film before we’ve seen it, we can at least deduce that Arrival had a brilliant art department.
We’ll have to wait a little less than a week to see if the film’s plot can match its beauty. Though many critics praised the film’s visuals, a good number also noted its narrative shortcomings in early reviews. This awards season contender might fare better for Best Cinematography than Best Adapted Screenplay, but we’ll hold off judgment for now.