1. Amy Adams
Once again Adams avoids typecasting, delivers a completely new character and surprises the audience. She is one of Hollywood's most impressive actors, a leading character-actor. Thrilling.
2. America would not be so welcoming of aliens today
By alien I mean anyone that the majority would see as foreign to them, let alone the squid like beings that are not of this planet. How sad...
3. ...but this is a film for today
The film clearly articulates its message that the world needs to be better at being a whole and communicate. That's something we're very quickly moving away from with Brexit and champions of the far right.
4. Better than its contemporaries
Gravity and Interstellar may have been widely celebrated and popular, but neither of them reached the emotional or storytelling heights of this. The reason? The characterisation. Where plot or action moved these two films along, Arrival follows the emotional journey of its protagonist. And this results, I'd argue, in a more accessible and successful film. It doesn't have the visual bravado, but that almost feels like the point - it's almost more a drama than a sci-fi film.
5. It's female protagonist
I don't know if I'm giving the film too much credit but it feels like it's being clever with its female protagonist. Yes the gender is important but, without spoilers, her relationship with her daughter is more nuanced and complicated than usual in mainstream Hollywood. Plus she doesn't need a man to help her, in fact the men tend to be the weaker characters.
6. Denis Villeneuve
I need to see more of his films.
Language is something we should treasure. I wish I was better with them rather it being the downfall of my academic years.
8. The overall message
The film tells its audience that we should embrace life with all of its heartbreak and it's joy, and I think that's a positive message to put out in the world where the majority seem to think that they're entitled to joy as the norm or can make their lives easier by avoiding heartbreak.
9. The music
Another great score by Johann Johannsson.
10. Oscar love?
I hope this finds itself with nominations in the main categories, particularly Picture and Acrtress. But Oscar doesn't like genre often and it's less showy than other competitors. But I'll keep my fingers crossed.