Amy Adams is one of my favourite actresses. I know it’s a bit unprofessional to start an article so deeply personal but I recently spoke to the great Adams at a press conference. Replying to me in such an astute and intellectual way, I instantly blacked out and cannot quite recall what she said because I was overcome by her perfection (Hooray for Dictaphones!)
Anyway, there is a great presence to Amy, no matter what role she tackles. Whether it’s a joyous naïve princess or a brooding art gallery owner, Adams masters them all. And though I know I am sadly missing tonnes of her work including The Fighter, Junebug, The Master and Catch Me If You Can, here are the six best roles of Amy Adams.
Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
Look, when having to chose between Amy Adams’ best roles, I had a tricky decision to make. One could feel drawn to The Fighter and The Master. Oscar nominated roles, indeed do need a lot of mentions and if I didn’t hate David O Russell, I’d pop the former on and if I had seen The Master, I’d have popped that on too. Regardless, they are truly incredible roles.
Instead, I decided to punt for Adams debut role which is a terribly underrated dark comedy. Drop Dead Gorgeous is a mockumentary revolving around a deadly group of girls who are pining for a pageant crown. Adams plays the sexual cheerleader who can put her whole fist in her mouth, which she does as a talent. Stereotypically dumb, Adams executes the role with great affection, gifting us with a hilarious character that stands out alongside the sea of crazy hilariousness!
Adams’ work as a Disney “princess” saw her shoot to fame in 2007. The film revolves around a young wannabe princess named Giselle who is transported from her animated role to the real live-action one and has to deal with the hard-knock-life that grimy New York offers. In the role, Adams is impeccable. Bouncy and fun one minute yet full of sorrow the next, Adams encompasses every single Disney Princess whilst similarly crafting a new and exciting one. Yes, she technically isn’t a princess but, well, sod it, she’s the best one! Just listen to “How Do You Know?” and tell me you don’t come away with sheer glee at Giselle’s heart-warming optimism.
Playing opposite heavy-weights such as Meryl Streep and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman is challenging. Tackling paedophilia in the church is more so. The young Amy Adams, coming off her commercial and critically acclaimed Disney work plunged deeply into this hefty drama and earned an Academy Award nomination for her troubles. She plays young Nun Sister James who suspects that a Father at their parish is abusing a young student, setting off a campaign against him despite there being no concrete proof. Amy Adams is stellar as the earnest young Nun who wanted to do good despite the circumstances. Greatly solidifying her as one of greatest actresses, this is a fine performance from Adams.
The Muppets (2011)
Proving a favourite with audiences and critics alike, Amy Adams completely immerses herself in a colourful and Muppety world opposite the likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and Fossy Bear. Here she plays Mary girlfriend of Gary whose affections for her are pulled by his loyalty to brother Walter. Bringing the charms of Giselle to a brand new character, Adams is somewhat side-lined by the hilarious puppet pals. Within this fuzzy world, however, she has standout moments including her venture across LA by herself singing the vivacious Me Party that y’all need in your lives. Helping to bring the Muppets back for a whole new generation to enjoy, this a fun and fantastic role!
Nocturnal Animals (2016)
Although the film was only released last week, it is sure enough one of her more accomplished roles. In fact, if the Academy doesn’t shove an award in her face because of it, then it will be a bitter disappointment. As Susan Marrow, she plays a disjointed gallery owner stifled by her loveless marriage and the façade of people around her. When she receives a manuscript by her ex-husband, she becomes embroiled in the novel and it’s contents, leading to an emotional act of revenge. Adams is ethereal in the role, transcending into many different facets of Susan including her bubbly and charming younger self and the aged, sleep deprived forty-something person she doesn’t recognise. It’s a gifted almost silent role that Adams elevates into a gripping poetic noir.
Again, the movie was only released yesterday but it is such a bloody brilliant performance that you can’t help but mention it. In fact, I urge you to fling your computer to one side, grab your nearest jacket, and head out to your local cinema because this is one film you aren’t going to want to miss on the big screen. As linguistics professor Louise, Adams’ plays a key role in unlocking the secrets of other-worldly visitors in Denis Villeneuve’s impeccable alien film. She’s astonishing. Absolutely perfect. Understated, emotionally charged, and full of clarity, Adams is bountiful in this stunning depiction of humanity’s need to work together to survive. Surely now, Adams is destined for legendary status.
Arrival and Nocturnal Animals are out in cinemas now!