Circuit Considerations: Tatiana Maslany in ‘Stronger’ for Best Supporting Actress

Oscar ballots were sent to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or better known as the Academy members, on Friday, Jan. 5.  We’ll be using the next week to remind the voting membership of our favorite films and performance of 2017 that they should consider when filling out their ballots!  If you missed one, then please click on the “Circuit Considerations 2017” tag.  You can also check out the “Best of 2017” column where the Editor cited the year’s best.  Oscar ballots are due on Friday, Jan. 12.

Film: “Stronger”
For Your Consideration: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Director: David Gordon Green
Screenplay: John Pollono
Realistic Nominations: Best Actor
Oscar Scene: “He doesn’t show up for anything. He’s always late, you know, he never wants to leave his apartment. I’m just fed up with it, and then he shows up.”

Stories of everyday heroes almost always ignore the partner. The supportive girlfriend/wife role is second fiddle, by design. They either are thrust unexpectedly into the spotlight along with the subject of the biopic or are left in the shadows. Heavy kudos must then go to director David Gordon Green and scribe John Pollono for making their story of Jeff Bauman (portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal) not just about him. It’s as much about Erin Hurley, portrayed by Tatiana Maslany in a role that will break your heart. She’s the secret weapon of “Stronger” and helps make it the emotional experience that it is. Without her, it wouldn’t have worked like it does. That yeoman effort deserves an Oscar citation, there’s no doubt about it.

In a just world, Maslany would be in heavy contention to win Best Supporting Actress, or even be thought of as walking the line between Supporting and Lead. Her work is riveting, the sort of thing that shoots someone straight to the A list. She’s best in show, fierce and loving and unwilling to put up with her man’s crap, as discussed in the initial four star review here on the site. At the very least, Gyllenhaal and Maslany should be a package deal for nominations, as opposed to the package deal snub that’s taking place. Deeper though, if voters had to choose between them, she’s actually doing the tougher work. Maslany elevates what could have been a stock role to something absolutely unforgettable. “Stronger” has many strengths, but she’s chief among them.

As voters make their selections, some could still be checking off Gyllenhaal for his outstanding performance in “Stronger,” and rightly so. Don’t sleep on Maslany though. As good as Gyllenhaal is, she’s even better. Supporting Actress has room for a surprise, and no one would be more deserving than Maslany. Already a star on television, this foray on to the big screen is just crying out for an Academy Award nomination. Voters, give this one another look and concentrate on her. You’ll see why this shouldn’t be a long shot and will go down as a terrible Oscar snub in the years to come.

Comment and discuss! Also, include future suggestions for Circuit Considerations!

CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |

ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT |