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Friday, February 15, 2019

#TheAcademyHatesAmy Why Doesn't Amy Adams Have An Oscar Yet?

In 2005, a movie barely anyone saw called Junebug was released. It's a better-than-average Indie fish-out-of-water character study about a couple who spends time with the husband's family in North Carolina. The film has not stood the test of time in the fact that still no one has heard of it or seen it. But it did have one stand out performance in it, a young woman by the name of Amy Adams who popped every time she was on screen. She clearly had "it" and The Academy awarded her for it by giving Amy Adams her first Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2005, you knew Amy Adams was going to be a huge star, and by 2019, she has proven it time-and-time again. Adams had to "earn" her shot thanks to bit roles in The Office, Talladega Nights, and The Ex, (and a whole lot of nothing starting in 1999) starting laying the ground work for her super-stardom by starring in Enchanted, Leap Year, and Sunshine Cleaning, but now has the chance to work with any director she wants to. Adams has made the most of her opportunities starring in David O Russell pics The Fighter and American Hustle, Clint Eastwood's Trouble With the Curve, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, Spike Jonze's Her, Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals and Denis Villenueve's Arrival. That's a murder's row, '27 Yankees esque line up of incredible directors. She's even managed to cash in from Hollywood along the way by playing Lois Lane in the DCEU and starred alongside Jason Segel in a Muppets movie.

Adams' talent and knack for working with talent has garnered her another 5 Academy Awards along the way. Since Junebug, she's earned supporting nominations for her work in Doubt, The Fighter, and The Master, and a Best Actress nomination for her work in American Hustle. This year marks her sixth acting nomination for her work as Lynne Cheney in (Oscar winner) Adam McKay's newest movie Vice. Despite her incredible filmography and performance after brilliant performance, Amy Adams has never won an Oscar.

It is not just that it is a travesty that the best actress of this generation doesn't have a prestigious statue, it's that the narrative around Amy Adams is... non-existent. Not too long ago, The Internet couldn't shut the fuck up about Leonardo DiCaprio not having an Oscar, and part of the Oscar campaign around his Revenant performance was the fact that he was still Oscar-less. But to put this into perspective, Leonardo DiCaprio was 0 for 4 (in the acting categories) coming into the 88th Academy Awards. Once Amy Adams loses in a couple of weeks, she'll be 0 for 6- and the outrage for which will be Shrug Emoji.

In 2009, the humor website Cracked.com ran an article entitled 6 Cheap Acting Tricks That Fool The Academy Every Time. Despite the article being 10 years old now, their words couldn't ring more true. And unfortunately for Adams, she has never followed these rules. She doesn't make herself "ugly" for the work - which used to mean like Charlize Theron in Monster, but nowadays basically means not wearing make up (see: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood or Francis McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), she's never played mentally challenged and she's never "Gone Gay" (as the article puts it). Adams has been in a biopic of sorts and it has gotten her nominations (The Fighter, American Hustle, and Vice), but as the article states, "This simple formula rarely fails. Pick a deceased (or soon to be deceased) musician, artist, or mathematician, make sure they're the person the New York media could conceivably refer to as brilliant..." and there's where Adams goes wrong. Lynne Cheney is neither soon-to-be-dead nor considered a genius, and I have no idea of the names her characters in the David O Russell films.

One Oscar rule that has emerged in recent years is the Ingenue- the beautiful, young woman The Academy wants to pick as the next "IT" girl (see: Brie Larson in Room, Alicia Vikander in (technically) The Danish Girl, or Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook). Unfortunately, this rule wasn't around in 2006, as Adams was up against some heavy-weight hitters like the aforementioned Francis McDormand (North Country), Catherine Keener (Capote), Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain), and the eventual winner Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner).

Adams lost her Best Actress nomination to the incomparable Cate Blanchett for the latter's work in Blue Jasmine, lost against Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) when Adams was in The Master, lost to Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) for her work in Doubt (and probably split the vote against her co-star and future Oscar winner Viola Davis), and lost to her The Fighter co-star Melissa Leo. Looking backwards, this loss feels the most egregious, but I personally still stand by it today, because when you watch that film, Leo blows Adams out of the water. If we're playing revisionist history, Adams defeating Penelope Cruz seems fair and we can still give Davis her win for Fences (and probably another win against Meryl Streep for Davis' work in The Help if we really want to go down the revisionist history rabbit hole).

If all was fair in the world, Adams would have multiple statues by now, but it's not. At this rate, Amy Adams is going to be Glenn Close - win the Academy Award on her seventh try when she's in her early 70's for a film nobody has heard of.

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