Van Sant masterfully mixes documentary style realism with over the top improvised, theatrical Shakespearean outbursts of dialogue interspersed with home-movie dream sequences and Rudy Valle and The Pogues playing on the soundtrack. Through a clever use of provocative characters, poetic dialogue and grounded surrealism, Idaho successfully evokes that state of mind where we become most aware of our human condition.
Manchester by the Sea, is an honest portrayal of life as it is lived in the real world. Life with no narrative closure.
"Arrival" assumes that the strong version of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is true. It experiments with the idea that if we are indeed limited in our cognitive categories because of our limits in the linguistic categories learning a language that does not share the same linguistic limits might expand our cognitive capabilities.
After a parade of stupid films that exist only to please the masses "Arrival" is a breath of fresh air.