Welcome to Director Watch! On this AwardsWatch podcast, co-hosts Ryan McQuade and Jay Ledbetter attempt to breakdown, analyze, and ultimately, get inside the mind of some of cinema’s greatest auteurs. In doing so, they will look at their filmographies, explore what drives them artistically and what makes their decision making process so fascinating. Add in a few silly tangents and a fun game at the end of the episode and you’ve got yourself a podcast we truly hope you love. On episode 11 of the Director Watch Podcast, the boys are joined by fellow AwardsWatch contributor Zach Laws as they discuss the next film in their Denis Villeneuve series, Arrival (2016).
Following the critical and commercial success of Sicario, Villeneuve returned a year later with his first stab into the sci-fi genre, making a film about a linguist who is tasked with the job of finding a way to communicate with extraterrestrials who have landed in twelve different spacecrafts around the Earth. But beyond the film, Villeneuve unexpectedly delivered a healing vessel for audiences who felt a sense of hopelessness with the results of the 2016 election. Lead by a career best performance from Amy Adams and the best work of Jóhann Jóhannsson career, Arrival is considered not just one of the best films of 2016, but one of the most important films of the last decades, and what many consider Villeneuve’s finest work of his career. In this episode, Ryan, Jay and Zach talk about where they were when they saw it in 2016, Zach’s star-studded screening story, why Amy Adam’s was subbed for a Best Actress nomination, the morality of the film’s ending, the fantastic supporting work from Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker and Michael Stuhlbarg, as well as one or two Tim Allen impressions.
You can listen to the Director Watch Podcast wherever you stream podcasts, from iTunes, iHeartRadio, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music and more.
This podcast runs 2h17m. The guys will be back next week to continue their Denis Villeneuve series with a look at Blade Runner 2049. You can rent Blade Runner 2049 via iTunes and Amazon Prime rental (no streaming options) in preparation for the next episode of Director Watch. Till then, let’s get into it.
Music: MUSICALIFE, from Pond5 (intro) and “B-3” from BoxCat Games Nameless: The Hackers RPG Soundtrack (outro)