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Arrival: Amy Adams explains why film isn’t a typical alien-invasion movie

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Jan Thijs

It sounds like a movie you’ve seen before: the aliens are here! What do they want? But in the sure hands of director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario), Arrival unfolds as a contemplative exploration of time, space, grief, and language. (And yes, there are crazy-looking aliens and a totally new kind of spaceship, too.)

“The script was absolutely breathtaking and so emotional and intriguing,” says Amy Adams, who plays an expert linguist called upon — along with Jeremy Renner’s theoretical physicist — to decode the language of an arriving species. “It’s about the way we communicate with each other, the relationships we have, the way we move through the world, and the choices that we make.” The twisty-turny tale — based on Ted Chiang’s 1998 sci-fi novella, Story of Your Life — offers something, well, out of this world. “I think people who enjoy sci-fi won’t miss out,” Adams says. “They just may be surprised.”

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Arrival arrives (sorry) on Nov. 11. You can exclusively see a new image from the film above.