3:33pm PT by Scott Feinberg
How 'Big Eyes' Star Amy Adams Became the Darling of the HFPA
With the possible exception of Meryl Streep, it is hard to think of an actress who has been more consistently good — and often great — over the past decade than chameleonic Amy Adams, whose run of excellence really began in 2005 with Junebug.
The 40-year-old's incredible body of work since — which includes more than 25 films and has been highlighted by standout performances in Enchanted (2007), Julie & Julia (2007), Charlie Wilson's War (2007), Doubt (2008), The Fighter (2010), Trouble With the Curve (2012), The Master (2012), Her (2013) and American Hustle (2013) — has collectively produced five Oscar noms and five Golden Globe film-related noms. (Among female performers, only Streep has more of the former within that same span, while Streep and Judi Dench have more of the latter. Not bad company to be in!)
I predict that the tally of the latter count will increase by one for Adams — and, yes, Streep, too, for Into the Woods — on Dec. 11, when the nominations for the 72nd Golden Globes will be announced. Adams is vying for a slot in the best actress in a musical or comedy category, which is rather thin this year, for her latest performance, as the unique painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes, and I think she's going to get it. Is it the finest film that she's been a part of? Absolutely not — many have found it a bit too lightweight and glossy and expect it to face an uphill climb at the Oscars — but that is entirely in spite of, not because of, Adams' work in the film. As Margaret Keane herself has said of Adams' performance, "It was like seeing myself 50 years ago! She was absolutely perfect."
Moreover, Adams is one of the few people in this business about whom I've never heard a bad word said — in every experience I've ever had with her or heard about, she's about as sweet as her character in Junebug, if also a lot sharper — and that sort of thing matters with the Academy, a body comprised of 6,000-some members, and even more so with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group of roughly 90 journalists who pick the Golden Globe nominees and winners, which has spent a lot of time with her over recent years as she has promoted her prolific output.
Ostensibly, HFPA members are only supposed to consider quality of work when filling out their ballots but, being human, other considerations also come into play. To be sure, star-quality is one of them; they famously love having big names at their event, and Adams has become one. But they also like having people who they like at their event, and Adams is one of them, as well. In other words, Adams is the full package: a great actress, a big star and a likable person. (As one HFPA member put it to me today, "She's a hugely talented actress with a lot of range. Nice is just the icing on the cake.")
So, when filling out your predictions for the best actress (musical/comedy) category — other contenders for which include, in no particular order, Into the Woods' Emily Blunt, The Humbling's Greta Gerwig, Maleficent's Angelina Jolie, Begin Again's Keira Knightley, The Hundred-Foot Journey's Helen Mirren, Maps to the Stars' Julianne Moore, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks' Gena Rowlands, Obvious Child's Jenny Slate, Magic in the Moonlight's Emma Stone, Annie's Quvenzhane Wallis and The Skeleton Twins' Kristen Wiig, among others — I recommend that you keep that in mind.