‘Arrival’ director feeling high hopes but no pressure ahead of Oscar night

Villeneuve keeps fingers crossed at Oscars

MONTREAL — Denis Villeneuve is certainly crossing his fingers for “Arrival” to become an Oscar winner on Sunday, but the Quebec filmmaker says he won’t be disappointed even if he walks away empty-handed.

“I would love to win, and I hope we win one or two, that would be fantastic,” Villeneuve told The Canadian Press on Saturday.

“I will cross my fingers, I will be excited, I will wish until the last second, but if it doesn’t happen I will still be smiling.”

The Canadian director says he’s taking a serene approach since getting eight Oscar nominations for an “intellectual sci-fi” film like “Arrival” was “far from a given.”

The film, which is adapted from Ted Chiang’s novella “Story of Your Life,” stars Amy Adams as a linguistics expert who goes through a transformative experience as she tries to communicate with aliens who’ve arrived on Earth.

Jeremy Renner plays a theoretical physicist in the Quebec-shot film, which explores how intuition, instinct and humility help communication.

“Making a film that plays with the notion of time, that has an intellectual approach and depends on intense audience participation… our chances were slim,” Villeneuve said in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

It will be the second trip to the Oscars for Villeneuve, who was nominated in the best foreign-language film category for “Incendies” in 2011.

This time, “Arrival” is tied with Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” for the second-most nods, including nominations for best picture and best director.

“La La Land” is in contention for a leading 14 awards, with nominations for best picture, best director and best actor for London, Ont., native Ryan Gosling.

Despite being up for the big honours this time around, Villeneuve, 49, insists he isn’t feeling any pressure.

“Making movies for me is a life. It’s not something I do to win prizes” he said. “The hardest part of my job is to last, to stand the test of time.”

In the next breath he says that while he says he doesn’t mind — and even relishes — his underdog status this time around, he does have ambitions to claim an Oscar eventually.

“I’ll get there. But its fine if it’s in the future,” he said. “I like the idea that it’s not now, of going step by step,” he said. 

Villeneuve says Sunday’s ceremony will come as a relief after his intense schedule over last few months, which included juggling festivals, awards shows and media appearances for “Arrival” with working on his next project, a sequel to “Blade Runner.”

“It’s been a great experience, but I’m happy it’s ending,” he said. “I’m going with a smile. No matter what happens tomorrow, I feel like we’ve already won.”


Vicky Fragasso-Marquis, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

UPDATED One acre fire on Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department

Half-priced cat adoptions at the Kelowna SPCA

Adult cats are 50 per cent off until July 29 at the Kelowna shelter

Wildfire remains out of control near Lake Country

Lake Country - The fire started near Dee Lake, southwest of Coldstream yesterday

Kelowna RCMP investigating after woman finds a bullet in her car

The police believe it was an act of negligence

Waters: Can retired Kelowna top cop leave his old badge at the door?

Current and former Kelowna RCMP superintendents using different approaches to tackle downtown crime

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Arrows stick it to Adanacs

Vernon Men’s Baseball League playoff final

Most Read