Amy Adams in Arrival: Master of Tongues

In the movie Arrival, Amy Adams plays Louise, a linguist dealing with some creatures from outer space in Denis Villaneuve's parable bringing into our world beings from the beyond. They appear to be giant floaty plasma mushrooms and arrive in an ovoid structure with one part flat. An academic with some sorrow in her past, Louise is enlisted to communicate. Amidst a world of aggressive action against the unknown, the message in how she figures out their language is to behave with gentle caution, with heart open, and optimistic courage. In a movie that values the pleasures of compassion, Amy Adams is not your usual action hero.

At a special screening at the Crosby Hotel in early fall, when the stars Adams and Jeremy Renner just returned from Toronto where the movie was a big hit, they talked to guests about the filmmaking. Denis Villaneuve was not present, off shooting a sequel to Bladerunner, but this Canadian director, distinguished for Prisoners, and last year's Sicario was present in spirit. Jeremy Renner, despite his cred as a superb action figure, plays a supporting role to Adams' Louise, a role he enjoyed, aiding this professional woman rise to her capability and vision.

Arrival just opened The Contenders series at MoMA, auspicious of its possibilities during awards season. Amy Adams, high on many lists with two films, Nocturnal Animals as well as Arrival, will receive an award tribute at the Gotham Awards later this month. Paramount Pictures screened some preview clips from their upcoming movies recently: Arrival has just opened. Everyone is looking forward to Denzel Washington directing and starring in Fences, a World War II era espionage thriller featuring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, Allied, and a holiday romp with Jennifer Aniston, Office Christmas Party. Just when we could use some laughs.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.