It's not often that an actress has herself as her primary competition, but that's what will happen this Thursday in Australia, when The Arrival and Nocturnal Animals open.
Amy Adams is the star of both.
They don't necessarily appeal to the same demographics, but there's enough crossover in their appeal, and little enough else opening this week, that viewers will indeed likely be confronted with the "Amy or Amy" decision when going to the movies this weekend.
Of course, in the U.S., neither opens on November 10th. The Arrival must wait an additional day until the 11th (in accordance with U.S. Friday release dates) while Nocturnal Animals bows a week after that in New York and Los Angeles, increasing to a "limited" release (though less limited than those two cities, I guess) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving before a wide release on December 9th.
Both movies have been all over the trailers I've gotten before the last few movies I've seen, but my approach to them has been very different.
With Nocturnal Animals, I reluctantly watched the trailer, and then of course didn't bother to avert my eyes when it came up again. Which has been at least twice, possibly three more times.
With The Arrival, though -- directed by a favorite of mine, Denis Villeneuve -- I've been quick to cover my ears and close my eyes, so as to let as little about this movie seep into my consciousness as possible. I've still only managed to see the very beginning shots of the trailer (enough to alert me what movie it was) and a few isolated stills.
I won't be quick on to Nocturnal Animals, and not only because I now feel like I have a pretty good idea what I'll be getting from this movie. I'll see it in the theater. Probably.
The Arrival, though, I'll scoop up on the first night, and not only because we'll be discussing it on a podcast three nights later. No, this one truly feels in my wheelhouse.
It remains to be seen how much of a factor Adams herself will be, whether she will help each film or hurt it.
A couple years ago, the answer to that question would have been obvious. Adams' fresh face was a boon to whatever project she participated in, and I several times toyed with the idea of writing a post about how inherently sympathetic she was. In short, I thought it was impossible not to like her. And she was doing good work, too.
Her essential ability to associate herself with good projects remains unchanged (a few Superman movies notwithstanding), but some part of my enthusiasm for her has been lost. I think I may have breached an Amy Adams saturation point of some kind. She no longer feels fresh and she no longer is reason enough for me to be excited about a project. However, that alone probably doesn't mean she'll detract from it either.
We'll find out with The Arrival on Thursday night, and Nocturnal Animals probably about ten days later.