Ian Hobbs’s review published on Letterboxd:
”Have you recently had a close encounter?”
After paving the way for the entire blockbuster has we know it today and crafting his first masterpiece with Jaws, Steven Spielberg decides to step back and create something not for the audience, but one that was as personal as he got in any film at this point. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is Spielberg at his most dazzling and he creates something deeply human in its roots and I loved how he did it.
Spielberg takes this wonderful idea of life behind our atmosphere and he hits all these notes the science fiction is all about that I thought were translated perfectly. Watching Roy, a simple man by almost all terms who isn’t something special or anything, slowly become obsessed with the UFO’s and wondering what everything means while his family and life fall apart really left me curious and intrigued to see where everything goes and by time the finale comes, it felt almost like that was meant to happen and it was great.
The use of colors and special effects are some of Spielberg’s best even after over 40 years. Not to mention a wonderful score by the lovely John Williams the suits the uncertain of everything in the movie so well. The performances all across the board are marvelous but watching Richard Dreyfuss slowly have hue life crumble was heartbreaking and yet, his wonder and hope in his heart about the unknown was glorious to see on screen.
I really loved the film and while I don’t think that it hit me as it did for a lot of other people, I still think that Spielberg not only crafted something mysterious and yet beautiful at once, but he made a family drama, with hints of science fiction, and a dash of horror thrown in to truly make the film feel special. Close Encounters of the Third Kind has one of the greatest third acts in the history of film that not only looks marvelous, but feels humane and kind and definitely was the highlight of the film for me.