Amy Adams Could Finally Win An Oscar, But Her Double Roles In 'Arrival' & 'Nocturnal Animals' Could Hurt Her Chances
The way Hollywood works, an actor isn't always in charge of when his or her movies are released. Studio productions can take years, and sometimes competing films starring the same person end up being released around the same time. Usually it's not an issue, but sometimes, it can cause conflict, especially if both films are released during awards season and both deemed award-worthy. This year, it looks like Amy Adams is caught in the net of having two acclaimed performances in competition with one another. But will having her starring roles in Arrival and Nocturnal Animals both in the running for noms help or hurt Adams' chance at winning an Oscar an this year? It's hard to say, but regardless of what happens, Adams' unique situation will definitely make for a compelling awards season.
Since her breakout performance in Junebug in 2006, Adams has earned five Oscar nominations, four in the Best Supporting Actress category (Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master) and one in Best Actress for American Hustle. But despite taking home a couple of Golden Globes and a SAG Award with her Hustle cast mates, Adams has been shut out at the Oscars. She's basically become the new Kate Winslet, who was also nominated five times before she finally won. With both of Adams' two performances earning rave reviews this fall, though, she's likely to nab another nom come Oscar time. But it's possible that having two films in contention could lead to a decreased chance of Adams actually winning an award.
In Oscar history, only 11 actors have been nominated twice in the same Oscar race, the most recent being Cate Blanchett in 2007 in the Best Actress category for Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and the Best Supporting Actress category for I'm Not There (she lost both). All 11 times this has occurred, the actor was nominated in different categories, never twice in the same category, like Adams would be (she'd be lead actress for both Arrival and Nocturnal Animals), making her odds at getting nominated for both films even less likely.
What's more likely to happen is that Adams might get double nominated by a show like the Golden Globes, where there are more categories in which to spread out nominations. This happened to Kate Winslet back in 2008, when she was nominated for her performances in both The Reader and Revolutionary Road in different categories, winning for both. But when the Oscar nominations were announced, she was only nominated for The Reader. Thankfully, she won, ending her losing streak. Perhaps Adams will follow suit, earning two Globe nominations and one Oscar nod, winning for the latter.
Yet regardless of what happens, both of Adams' films are deserving of attention. Arrival , the sci-fi tale of aliens visiting Earth and the struggle of Adams' character, an expert linguist, to understand their intentions, is a must-see. The film is an epic alien drama thriller, but at the heart of it is an emotional center that revolves around Adams' role as a mother and the grief she experiences over a death. It's a powerful performance that combines the excitement and fear Louise feels over her task with the heft of a major personal loss.
Then there's Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals, a neo-noir thriller in which Adams stars alongside Jake Gyllenhaal as a woman who is given a copy of her ex-husband's manuscript. While reading the book, Adams' character, Susan, becomes immersed in the story, and the lines between what's occurring in the plot of the film, what's in the story of the novel, and what's in flashbacks become blurred. Adams' performance in Animals has won rave reviews, and deservedly so.
If only one of these performances is nominated for an Oscar, I'm willing to bet that it's going to be the one from Arrival. With a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes so far, Arrival is being hailed as one of the best films of the year and one of the best sci-fi films ever made. With a more mixed reaction on Nocturnal Adams in general, Adams and her people are more likely to campaign on Arrival's behalf. Still, nothing's guaranteed. The star might surpass Winslet here and be in for her sixth nomination without a win, as there is a ton of competition in the Actress races this year, from Viola Davis to Annette Bening to Emma Stone. Whatever happens, it's going to be an exciting year for Adams, and for Oscar fans everywhere.
Images: Paramount, Focus Features