Tag Archives: Nocturnal Animals

The Best Of: 6 Incredible Roles by Amy Adams

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)

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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!

Enchanted (2007)

enchanted_movie_image_amy_adams__11_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.

Doubt (2008)

aa-amyadams-doubt-hallwayPlaying 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.

No Doubt.

The Muppets (2011)

amy-adams-as-mary-in-green-with-envy-theProving 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)

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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.

Arrival (2016)

ARRIVALAgain, 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.


Vice is out in cinemas now! 

The Career of Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal’s new film Stronger sees him portray real-life hero Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become the symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Gyllenhaal’s incredible ability to portray a variety of diverse roles has seen him go from strength to strength, from child star to Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee as well as BAFTA Award Winner in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. To celebrate the release of Stronger on 8 December and another incredible performance from Jake, we’re taking a look at his career to date.

 

City Slickers (1991)

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At a young age, this was Gyllenhaal’s screen debut as Danny, the son of Mitch Robins (Billy Crystal). Whilst it is only a small scene, where Danny is ashamed of his father’s job in ad sales and tells his class his father is a submarine commander, it’s enough to make an impression. Gyllenhaal standing up in front of his class was the first time he was able to show audiences what he was made of. Following City Slickers he began to audition for more roles and thus his Hollywood career began.

Donnie Darko (2001)

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This particular film saw Gyllenhaal cement himself as an actor as he took on the lead role in this film. Donnie is a high school student with a rather odd imaginary friend; Frank, a monstrous six-foot rabbit that only he can see. Gyllenhaal showcases the character’s struggle with authority whilst also being manipulated by his new friend to perform dangerous pranks. Donnie Darko has since become a cult classic.

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

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Gyllenhaal’s performance as Jack West, a man struggling with his own sexuality and falling in love with fellow cattle herder Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) saw Gyllenhaal earn his first ever Academy Award nomination, and deservedly so. In this neo-Western romantic-drama film, directed by Ang Lee, Gyllenhaal is pushed by society to hide his identity whilst carrying on this heart-breaking affair with another man. The role saw him win his first BAFTA Award for the performance.

Zodiac (2007)

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Stronger is not the first film where Gyllenhaal has risen to the challenge of portraying real-life people on screen. In this mystery thriller by David Fincher, he plays political cartoonist Robert Graysmith, the man who attempted to decode letters written by the Zodiac killer in 1970’s Northern California. Graysmith is a man determined to help uncover the killer despite others not believing his own theories and becoming almost unhealthily obsessed with the case. Gyllenhaal gets to play a character that is naïve to police procedure and regulation and possessed with finding out the truth, no matter what the cost.

Nightcrawler (2014)

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Gyllenhaal’s knack for portraying men on the edge of obsession and moral ambiguity carried on to his next role as Lou Bloom, a stringer who records violent events late at night in Los Angeles, and sells the footage to a local television news station. Nightcrawler and its focus on unethical journalism saw Gyllenhaal nominated for his second BAFTA Award for his performance as a sociopath determined to get the perfect footage.

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

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Gyllenhaal takes on another interesting acting challenge by portraying not one but two very different characters in the same film. He plays Edward, a romantic and charming writer, so in love with Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) he believes they can face any obstacle. When Susan leaves Edward heartbroken, he writes a graphic and violent novel, which he dedicates and sends to her. In the fictional story we meet Tony Hastings (also Gyllenhaal), a man attacked on the road and whose wife and daughter are kidnapped and then murdered. We get to see him shine as the idealistic writer, and the family man both possessed and determined to avenge his murdered family no matter the repercussions.

Stronger (2017)

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In his latest film Gyllenhaal portrays Jeff Bauman, a 27-year-old, Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin (Tatiana Maslany). Waiting for her at the finish line when the blast occurs, he loses both his legs in the attack. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, Jeff is able to help law enforcement identify one of the bombers, but his own battle has just begun. He tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity. Filled with raw emotion, humanity and humour, Stronger is the inspirational real-life story of the man who became the living embodiment of “Boston Strong.” The film also stars Academy Award® nominee Miranda Richardson and is directed by David Gordon Green.


Stronger is out in UK cinemas 8 December