Maggie Gyllenhaal is my type of actress. I started following her when she was an ever-lovable Satanist make-up artist in Cecil B. Demented. The film inspired me to make my only memorabilia purchase, fighting tooth and nail on eBay for her character's eyelash curler, beating out a girl who ultimately decided her money would be better spent on the branding iron she actually wanted to use. Since then, Gyllenhaal has picked some great films, has been forgiven for the not-so-great, and is now a two-time best actress winner, scoring the Best Actress prize at the Stockholm Film Festival.
Maggie received the top prize for her portrayal of Sherry Swanson in Sherrybaby, a film by Laurie Collyer that Jeffrey M. Anderson reports also grabbed the Best Film award from the jury. These aren't the first bits of praise to come for the film. Our own Kim Voynar gave a great review earlier this year during Sundance, and it gained nominations both there and at the Gotham Awards. Sherrybaby, in short, is the story of a woman trying to reconnect with her daughter after a prison sentence. However, it's also an incredibly serious and heart-wrenching film that made the Sundance Q&A a river of tears.
This just could be Maggie's ticket to an Oscar, although anything is possible in a ceremony that raises Brockovich above Burstyn. Nevertheless, I think it's safe to say that she's got a long career ahead of her. She's on a steady train forward, which isn't stopping for elevator shenanigans and party girl diversions.