Perhaps you've had ambivalent feelings about Amy Adams. Perhaps you thought she racked up too many Oscar nominations too quickly, earning citations for Doubt and The Master despite some flatness to those characters. Perhaps her try-hard-theater-kid vibe grated on you, a la Anne Hathaway or Anna Kendrick. Perhaps her interview quotes felt a bit stagey, even Goop-esque, to you.
It's understandable that, in the past, you may not have loved Amy Adams. But then the actress spent so many nights thinking how we did her wrong. She grew strong, and she learned how to get along, and now she's back to win our hearts with a goddamn perfect cover of "I Will Survive."
The video, by W magazine, is an extension of a heavily edited clip released last week featuring about a dozen Oscar contenders singing, speaking and monologuing the lyrics to the song. At the time, it was clear that Adams was working on a different playing field: Unlike the others, she was singing and dancing, with no lyrics sheet in sight.
Because W magazine is full of love and mercy, they released the full clip of Adams' performance Tuesday afternoon, featuring a full 84 seconds of the Arrival actress performing. "Is there a key we're supposed to sing?" she jokes with a laugh at the start. Her laugh is a sign: She's being silly, but she knows she's got this.
The next minute-plus is a master class in how to make cheese work for you. Adams smiles, dances and sings a word-perfect rendition of Gloria Gaynor's timeless hit. She wags her fingers, twirls and serves face. It is a triumph.
The video is the latest bit of evidence in the war against Amy Adams apathy and/or hate. She's coming off a year in which she gave a terrific performance — in the soon-to-be Oscar favorite Arrival — and makes it out relatively unscathed from the loathsome and loathing Nocturnal Animals. Annoyance with her try-hard vibe is giving way to appreciation for her work ethic. And now here she is, camping it up and having the time of her life doing some karaoke.
Obviously, everyone has a different approach to a group activity like this. Natalie Portman sucks the fun right out of it with a dour, quiet reading of the lyrics. Alden Ehrenreich adds a little bit of pathos to his, but still doesn't go full out. Taraji P. Henson is the only one who comes close to matching Adams, belting the lyrics with great verve and little regard for pitch or perfection.
But Adams is the winner here, charming and technically proficient in equal measure. She's having fun, but she is also killing it — and she knows she's killing it.
Whether she's dancing her heart out or confessing her embarrassing run-in with the Stranger Things kids, Adams is embracing her dorky side, refusing to downplay or apologize for it. She's living her best life, and it's time to love her for it.