This week marks and uptick in quality of films, which gives me hope for the upcoming awards season.
"Arrival" starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker. I love a good and original SciFi film. It's based on the short, “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang.
Aliens land on earth and we don't know what they want, so the government enlists the help of a linguist (Adams) and a mathematician (Renner) to try to decipher their language. First off I appreciate that they didn't go with shoot first, ask questions later approach. I also appreciate the film features an intelligent strong female lead.
Amy Adams is a magnificent actress, and she's been somewhat underutilized lately (Batman v Superman? No). After you see this I also encourage you to go back and watch Junebug.
I felt the film was a great balance of accessible SciFi and emotional drama. It was less frantic than normal SciFi films, this isn't an "Independence Day" or a "War of the Worlds" it's more pragmatic than that. There's a great sense of danger and ever looming presence.
I won't go in to much more of the plot as I encourage folks to go see it, the one warning is the end gets a little strange and feels like it wraps up hastily, but I truly enjoyed the film.
The second film this week is "Loving" which opens wide.
This film portrays the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, who's landmark legal case Loving v Virginia led to the Supreme Court ruling that interracial marriage was legal. It set precedence for the 2015 case, Obergefell v Hodges, which ruled that same-sex marriage was legal.
This film hits home for me as I would potentially not be on this earth without the ruling in this case. The film is directed by Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special, Mud, Take Shelter) and stars Joel Egerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred.
I saw this film before the 2016 election, and at the time it made me nervous as it reminded me the power the Supreme Court wields over the everyday lives of Americans. This film isn't a sweeping court drama, it's a love story about two people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and did the right thing in challenging the status quo.
I now have to evaluate the film under a different lens.
I suggest people see this film, as a reminder, a reminder that the onus is on people to not just accept injustice, but to do something.
We need to look forwards, not backwards and fall back into bad old habits. Just because leadership is trying to say one thing is right doesn’t make it so, and we have a voice and we have recourse.
We all need to be Richard and Mildred Loving, and Bernard Cohen (played by Nick Kroll) of the ACLU who represented them.
As a movie, it's not perfect, it's a little slow at times, but it's well acted and well directed. I think everyone should go see it, and maybe it’ll give you a bit of hope, and a reminder we need to stand up for what we believe in.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.
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