If you’ve got a soft spot for Maggie Gyllenhaal, you might want to check out the Film Experience, where guest essayist Adam counts the ways in which Ms. Gyllenhaal takes possession of men both weak and strong. (And if you don’t, you might want a doctor to look into that heart of stone.)
Her brother may be the only one with an Oscar nomination in the family, but her time (as well her smoochie’s, Peter Sarsgaard) will come. In her review a few years back of “Happy Endings,” Manohla Dargis wrote that “there isn’t an American actress in movies today who holds the screen with as much deep-seated soul.” Adam suggests that while other actors inhabit characters who use sex as a favor, Ms. Gyllenhaal uses it to make herself understood in vivid ways.
Maggie says the sexuality in her roles is a layer unto itself, “In my life and in my work, I’m interested in sex as a way of communication, I’m not interested in the fantasy version of a sex scene where everything’s like a softcore porn movie. I’m interested in, why communicate things through sex? Is there no other way to communicate this thing? It’s another way of talking, for some people now, it’s the way they communicate.”