Amy Adams's Oscar snub for her performance in Arrival made the Academy Award nominations announcement bittersweet for director Denis Villeneuve
“It was so strange,” Villeneuve told PEOPLE at the Producers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Hollywood on Saturday, when asked about the actress’s noticeable absence from the list of nominees. “When they announced, at one point we were like, I think, already five nominations or something like that, so we were like popping the champagne … When I saw that she was not [nominated], it was such a big disappointment, because she’s the soul, she was my muse.”
He continued, praising the actress for her contribution to the film: “I owe her everything for Arrival. So when they announced my name, it was like a strange mix of emotion. A lot of joy and sadness at the same time. Very strange experience.”
Arrival scored a whopping eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. And while they celebrate these accomplishments, producer Shawn Levy echoed similar sentiments about Adams not making the list.
“I was surprised,” Levy said. “Certainly, if you acknowledge Arrival to the extent that the Academy did, and if we all take it as an inarguable fact that Amy Adams’s performance is in every frame of the film, and is pervasive throughout the soul and heart of the film, then I choose to live in the positive and simply conclude that the acknowledgement to the movie is an acknowledgement of her performance.”
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“The first call I got that morning was from Amy,” Levy said. “Her sanguine graciousness, her firm pride in what we did together as a filmmaking unit, was so elegant, and gracious, and strong. So I’m aspiring to that grace.”
Adams has been nominated for five Oscars, but has never won. Earlier this month, she accepted the award for best actress at the National Board of Review Gala in New York City. Interestingly, Adams received the film’s only 2017 Screen Actors Guild award nomination for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role. The awards show airs Sunday.
The 2017 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, is on Sunday, Feb. 26.