Lily Gladstone’s Mollie Burkhart is a supporting character — this was clear after Killers of the Flower Moon’s Cannes premiere last May.
Mollie sidesteps traditional definings of lead character behavior at every turn — basically being a passive victim who doesn’t react to murders of family members and the attempted methodical murder of herself except with sullen silences, and who spends half the film in bed as she slowly dies from poisoning.
It’s an under-energized (i.e., dull) performance sans tempest and catharsis.
Gladstone’s Best Actress campaign is first and foremost an identity bandwagon and, not to sound overly harsh, a case of unmitigated category fraud if there ever was one.
But the woke identity celebrationists see this as an historic opportunity to shower Gladstone with love and largesse and thereby symbolically cleanse
themselves of any sort of association or guilt over white Hollywood’s decades of mistreatment or mischaracterizing of Native American culture (as echoed by Marlon Brando during the ‘73 Oscar telecast and the subsequent slagging of the late Sacheen Littlefeather, or something like that).
“The one inarguable thing you’ve said [about] Gladstone is that Mollie is too passive and shoved to the background to be a leading role.” — HE’s own Kristi Coulter.
Pure narrative, pure cultural politics — zero to do with quality of performance.
You can stand me up before the gates of hell, and I won’t back down on this.