Lily Gladstone, star of Martin Scorsese’s epic “Killers of the Flower Moon,” was nominated Tuesday for a best actress Oscar, making her the first Native American person to compete for a competitive acting Oscar. In the film, she plays Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman whose white husband is part of a murderous conspiracy.
Gladstone, 37, of Blackfoot and Nez Perce descent, is not the first Indigenous artist to earn a best actress nomination: Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Whale Rider,” 2003) and Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma », 2018) were also nominated. nominated in the same category – but it is the first from the United States. Folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie is considered the first indigenous person to win an Oscar (for best song, “Up Where We Belong” from “An Officer and a Gentleman,” in 1983), but her legacy has recently been challenged . And in 2019, Wes Studi, who is a Cherokee American, received an honorary Academy Award for “his indelible cinematic portrayals and for his unwavering support of the Native American community.”
Gladstone had a busy first month of 2024: On January 7, she became the first Indigenous person to win the Golden Globe for best actress, giving a powerful speech in which she spoke a few lines in the Blackfoot language. She also won the Best Actress award at the New York Film Critics Circleas well as the applications of Critics’ Choice Awards and the Screen Actors Guild.
“Killers,” based on a nonfiction book by David Grann, was reimagined early on to focus on the relationship between Mollie and her husband, Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio), who conspires with his uncle (Robert De Niro) to kill his relatives in one attempted to seize his family’s oil-rich land in Oklahoma.
Since the film’s release in October, critics have picked Gladstone over it. grounded “magnetic” performance (Anthony Lane, write in the New Yorker, presented her as “unquestionably the most compelling presence in the film”). The New York Times chief film critic Manohla Dargis praised her chemistry with DiCaprio, which she said was rooted in the contrast between Mollie’s and Ernest’s reserved and physically demonstrative acting styles.
“You believe in these characters but also, most importantly, you believe them as a couple and in the tenderness of their love,” Dargis wrote in her review of the film, which she called a “heartbreaking masterpiece.” .
Gladstone grew up performing in plays put on by a traveling children’s theater on the Blackfeet Reservation in northwest Montana. She landed a breakout role in Kelly Reichardt’s 2016 independent film, “Certain Women,” which raised her profile considerably, but “Killers,” with its reported $200 million budget and A-list cast, l propelled him to the highest echelon of Hollywood.