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She followed it by playing naive, optimistic women in a series of films, including the 2008 drama Doubt.She subsequently played stronger female parts to positive reviews in the sports film The Fighter (2010), and the psychological drama The Master (2012).
Following brief roles in three small-scale features of 2002—The Slaughter Rule, Pumpkin, and Serving Sara—Adams found her first high-profile part in Steven Spielberg's comedy-drama Catch Me If You Can after casting director Deborah Zane brought her to Spielberg's attention.It was the independent comedy-drama Junebug, which had a production budget of under $1 million.Directed by Phil Morrison, the film featured Adams as Ashley Johnsten, a perky and talkative pregnant woman.Amy Lou Adams (born August 20, 1974) is an American actress.She is known for both her comedic and dramatic performances, and as of 2017 is among the highest-paid actresses in the world.Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter praised Adams for being "sweetly savvy" in her part, but Peter Bradshaw was disappointed to see her talent wasted in a role he considered to be of minimal importance.
The 2008 Sundance Film Festival saw the release of Sunshine Cleaning, a comedy-drama about two sisters (played by Adams and Emily Blunt) who start a crime scene clean-up business.
After moving to Los Angeles, she made several guest appearances in television, and took on "mean girl" parts in small-scale features.
Her first major role came in Steven Spielberg's 2002 biopic Catch Me If You Can, opposite Leonardo Di Caprio, but she was unemployed for a year afterward.
In 2016, she received acclaim for her leading roles in the science fiction film Arrival and the psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals.
Adams' stage roles include the Public Theater's revival of Into the Woods in 2012, in which she played the Baker's Wife.
The critic Roger Ebert commended Adams for being "fresh and winning" in a role that "absolutely depends on effortless lovability", and Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe wrote that she "demonstrates a real performer's ingenuity for comic timing and physical eloquence".