Arrival is a "first contact" sci-fi movie based on Ted Chiang's Story of Your Life. It's already achieved a bit of bad press here in China for their marketing, which saw a photoshopped Shanghai Tower into the Hong Kong skyline on their movie poster. This little China-side gaff didn't stop the movie from doing well overseas. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners), the film stars Amy Adams as a linguist who's tasked to find a way to communicate with aliens that have arrived to earth. The movie was praised for its unusual approach to a familiar sci-fi trope, the outstanding performance of its lead, and for its accurate portrayal of linguistics. (Finally!)
It got a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been nominated for several awards. Seems like a must-see for sci-fi fans. Pre-sale tickets are available at all kinds of online and offline platforms now.
Recently winning all seven awards it was nominated for at the Golden Globes, La La Land seems like a perfect choice for Valentine's Day. It tells the story of two young people seeking their dreams in Los Angeles; one is an aspiring actress (Emma Stone), and the other is a struggling jazz musician (Ryan Gosling). Taking inspirations from classic musicals, writer-director Damien Chazelle (10 Cloverfield Lane, Whiplash) was well-received by contemporary audiences for his third film. To quote Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera, the film “does not merely reinvent the musical genre, it gives it a brand new start.”
A few other English-speaking films are managing to slip in our cinemas during Spring Festival break: Ballerina (February 1); xXx: Return of Xander Cage (February 10); Sing (February 17); and Assassin's Creed (February 10).