Why Arrival’s Denis Villeneuve is THE hottest director in town
With six films to his name since 2009, Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is certainly prolific. That’s not to say he’s trading quality for quantity, though, as each has earned acclaim from critics across the world.
With his latest film Arrival impressing crowds around the world, we’ve taken a look at his greatest films to date. Have you seen these?
- Incendies (2010)
- Prisoners (2013)
- Enemy (2013)
- Sicario (2016)
Adapted from Wajdi Mouawad’s play of the same name, Incendies follows the journey of a twin brother and sister who travel to their mother’s native country in the Middle East as they attempt to unravel the mystery of her past. This French-language mystery is regarded by many as Villeneuve’s best film to date, and won a host of accolades upon its release in Canada, including eight Genie Awards (the Canadian Oscars).
As his first English-language film, Prisoners marked the moment when Villeneuve began shifting towards a wider audience, featuring a top cast including Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal. This thriller focuses on the abduction of a father’s young daughter and her friend in Pennsylvania, as the father decides to take matters into his own hands. This bold and at times uncomfortable film poses the question: “How far would you go to protect your child?”
Something of a Pandora’s box of a film, Enemy is Villeneuve’s take on the doppelganger theme. This psychological thriller also stars Jake Gyllenhaal; this time as two men who are physically identical, but differ in their personalities: Adam Bell, a shy and bookish history professor, and Anthony Claire, a socially-confident actor who is something of a hot-head. Awash with symbols, motifs and a truly bizarre ending, Enemy has spawned countless online debates as to what the film is really about.
This beautifully shot gritty crime-thriller stars Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin as members of a task force enlisted by the US government to bring down the leader of a powerful and brutal Mexican drug cartel. In this part revenge tragedy, part study of corruption, Blunt shines as the smart and idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer, who gets stonewalled at every turn by her colleagues. Sicario received three Oscars nominations ahead of last year’s Academy Awards ceremony.