Amy Adams was at the forefront of every film critics’ nomination list you can think of from last year, from the London Film Critics Circle to the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. I remember my first vivid memory of her: as kind-hearted Princess Giselle in Enchanted, where she romances Patrick Dempsey when the very real fantasy world she lives in turns upside down and the princess ends up in an American metropolitan. Having come a long way from the days of dinner theatre and a brief stint at Hooter’s, Amy has spent the past year experimenting with rather unglamorous feminine roles: whether in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals or in the brilliant sci-fi Arrival, Amy is surely expanding her horizons, which is great to not get typecast, and also living the fairytale dream.
As Dr. Louise Banks, in the latter, Amy loses her daughter to cancer and is then asked to collaborate with a physicist to decode extraterrestrial language that come in the shape of circles. After forming contact with aliens at an army camp in Montana, Louise discovers that the aliens want to help people on Earth, in return for help from them thousands of years later but for both to happen all nations must work with each other. It’s ambiguous what happens of the plan but soon conflict that arose at the presence of alien-contact, inbetween countries get erased and all the spacecrafts disappear from Earth. But the film is less about inconclusive endings and more about life from other planets and Banks’ ability to remarkably communicate with aliens utilising their special tongue in a basic manner.
At the moment, Amy is busy producing HBO’s Sharp Objects (based off a novel by Gillian Flynn, who also did ‘Gone Girl’), and with the sequel of Enchanted where she goes on a kind of soul-searching to find out if her fairytale-like happy ending with the right man was really worth it. Amy describes herself to be mathematically-challenged so when prepping for a sci-fi, what she does is really absorb the emotional angle of her character and let the rest of the scientific details just do their bit in following that up. Louise Banks came across to Amy as an interpreter of the native language of aliens, and there were even talks to have Banks, with all her vulnerability, remade into a male character but that would just spoil everything the movie turned out to be in the end – it’s nicer to have a women-centric movie dominated by aliens.