Did You Recognize That Stunning Score From the Beginning and End of Arrival?

This month we all prepared for Arrival, a thoughtful and compelling new film about aliens starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the movie is its shocking and original twist, which even Adams herself couldn't predict (ironically). There's another interesting little tidbit about the movie, though, and maybe only the sharp-eared viewers among us may have picked up on it. While almost the entire score has been composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, there's one song in particular that sticks out in a different way. It's called "On the Nature of Daylight," and it's written by Max Richter.

In the context of Arrival, this gorgeous piece bookends the film. It flourishes during the opening sequence, and as The Hollywood Reporter said in an early review, the "somber strings" can be heard as well in "the beautiful concluding scene." While watching the movie, though, I could have sworn I'd heard the song before . . . and it turns out I was right. "On the Nature of Daylight" appears in Will Ferrell's "breakdown scene" in 2006's Stranger Than Fiction, but its most notable inclusion may be in Martin Scorsese's intense 2010 film Shutter Island. Like Arrival, the film features the song as part of its dramatic and devastating conclusion. Guess Max Richter really hit the nail on the head with this one, right?