When did this Amy Adams thing happen? And even more important, how?
But largely, Amy Adam's ridiculously strong nomination total has come from good projects where she gets swept along with the film. This is to say nothing about her talent. I think she's very good. I had a very different reaction than you to her performance in Arrival, but as she is headlining it and competition was strong, we can see what happened.
She is very good Junebug and she would've been my choice to win, but it's not exactly a star is born moment. It's more of a "Oh, we should hire this person and put her in more things" moment. I think that would've happened even if she wasn't nominated. Her nomination largely happened because of that field. We see Frances McDormand for largely doing nothing in North Country, Catherine Keener for a body of work nomination, and basically anything to avoid honoring Mario Bello in A History of Violence. And for a few years, we saw a glimpse of what her career could've been. Roles like in Will Ferrell's Talladega Nights. She was destined to play Jenna Fischer roles (from The Office). Sweet, funny-ish women who believe in their man. She was swept along to a nomination with Doubt. I'm blanking on anyone else who could've been nominated that year. I would say that she's the beneficiary of Kate Winslet's shift to lead for The Reader, but then I remembered that Taraji P. Henson was nominated for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
I think this Amy Adams thing "happened" started when she was cast in movies by David O. Russell and Paul Thomas Anderson. For both films, I remember thinking "Oh, she'll probably win for this." The second film especially because it was such an anticipated event among my circles. Although she won awards for the idea of her performance in The Master, it was working with Russell on The Fighter that broke her away from playing pretty, girl-like characters and showed the world she had a potty mouth and boobs. Weird that it takes David O. Russell to do that and not Will Ferrell. She's also very good in the film and I thought she would win. Three nominations and an Oscar for playing a girlfriend? That sounds about right for her. But then Melissa Leo started winning. Even in American Hustle, her leading nomination seems more swept along than Jennifer Lawrence's supporting nomination. I resisted this idea for a while but Amy Adams' two leading bids for Big Eyes and Arrival came up short, both of which have something to say about the competition but also maybe how she is seen. Again: I think Arrival is her best performance.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver