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Happy birthday Amy Adams! A look back at her five best roles.

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With 5 Oscar nominations, 2 Golden Globe wins and a box office revenue of upwards of $2 billion, Amy Adams is arguably one of the greatest and most successful actresses of her generation. Her versatility as an actress is almost unparalleled; even the great Meryl Streep referred to her as ‘a woman of many imaginative gifts’ in the tribute she penned for her. Adams’ mesmerizing performances deserve unlimited recognition, so let’s take a look at her top 5 greatest roles.

5. American Hustle (2013)  

This was the film that garnered Adams her first Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actress, having already been nominated 4 times for Best Supporting Actress. Although she sadly lost out to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, it does not negate the fact that Adams' performance in the film was simply phenomenal. She stars as Sydney Prosser alongside Christian Bale as two con artists/lovers who are forced by FBI agent, Bradley Cooper to set up an elaborate sting operation against Mayor Polito, played by Jeremy Renner. The film was widely praised and received Oscar nods for Bale, Adams, Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in the four main acting categories, but it is definitely Adams’ performance that stands out. 

4. Big Eyes (2014)  

Tim Burton’s American biographical drama told the story of a husband taking credit for his wife’s work, an idea that will be played out later this year in Keira Knightly's film Colette. Adams plays introverted artist Margaret Keane whose mesmerizing paintings of big-eyed children caught worldwide attention in the 50s and 60s. Her husband Walter, Christoph Waltz decides to sell them under his own name after convincing Margaret that as a better salesman than her, he would therefore be able to make them both more money. The film follows Adams’ character as she finds her feet and stands up for herself, taking her husband to trial and ultimately achieving the recognition that was denied her for years. It is a heart-warming and immensely satisfying story made all the more enjoyable by Adams remarkable and endearing performance. 

3. Enchanted (2007) 

It seems strange to imagine Adams - who in recent years has stuck mainly to darker, grittier roles - playing a sweet and bubbly princess, but nevertheless it was the role that marked her breakthrough into mainstream Hollywood. Eleven years ago, Adams donned a big white dress and stepped into the shoes of the lovable and theatrical Princess Giselle who, after being pushed down a well in her animated home of Andalasia, finds herself in a live-action New York City. The studio originally sought an established star for the film but director Kevin Lima was overwhelmed by Adams' audition and, despite her lesser-known status, chose her over the other 300 other actresses who'd auditioned. And thank God he did. Adams was wonderful in the film and kick-started her career which thankfully hasn’t stopped since.

2. Arrival (2016) 

Arrival saw Adams teaming up again with Jeremy Renner, only this time as talented linguist Louise Banks, who is called upon by the United States government to attempt communication with a mysterious alien life form that has landed on Earth. Adams plays Banks with passion, sincerity and a terrific sense of determination and her performance, unsurprisingly, received critical acclaim. The film was nominated for 8 Oscars but sadly Adams did not receive one for her performance, prompting widespread shock from the industry, with director Denis Villeneuve even commenting ‘Amy Adams is the soul of Arrival, so I’m profoundly sad she did not get a nomination this morning.’ Regardless, Adams’ performance is still wonderful and the film is definitely worth a watch for those who haven’t already seen it.

1. Sharp Objects (2018) 

Adams’ starring role as reporter Camille Preaker on HBO’s new miniseries is truly a master class in acting. If she doesn’t win the Emmy for her performance it will be nothing short of a travesty. Adams’ performance as the self-destructive Preaker is layered and complex and Adams makes it look effortless. She does exceedingly well to convey Camille’s past traumas and reflect how they continue to haunt her in the present. It really is a remarkable performance, one that is at the core of this brilliant series, and Adams is very well deserving of the awards she is sure to receive for it. 

 

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