Lily Gladstone might have missed her first chance at winning an Academy Award earlier this year. But she's still pressing forward with two major releases on the calendar.

The first of those has already captured very positive reviews on the film festival circuit, and fans will judge for themselves when "Fancy Dance" debuts this weekend in select cinemas, and on Apple TV+ this coming week.

It's promising to portray an interesting story of not only family and tribal relationships but also touch on issues of the heartbreak of missing relatives and sexual identity.

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Much more than a "road movie"

As with Gladstone's award-winning run in "Killers of the Flower Moon", "Fancy Dance" is set in Oklahoma, focusing on the relationship of Gladstone's character with both her estranged father and her niece. Native writer-director Erica Tremblay helmed the film.

"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+
"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+

The University of Montana graduate plays Jax, a young woman who's trying to come to terms with her sister's disappearance and the welfare of the sister's daughter Roki. The film's synopsis explains the conflict begins when Jax is worried about losing custody of Roki, to her father Frank and the pair "hit the road" to "scour the backcountry" looking for the missing sister before the upcoming powwow.

The description says the search "gradually turns into a far deeper investigation into the complexities and contradictions" as Indigenous women move through the world "at the world of a failed justice system."

"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+
"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+

A deeper look at current issues

In addition to touching on the problem of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the film has also been getting pre-release attention for its portrayal of a queer character amid difficult family relationships.

In a social media post a few weeks ago, Gladstone expressed her excitement about the release saying "I have never been prouder."

"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+
"Fancy Dance"; Courtesy Apple TV+

Where to watch

The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah last year, winning rave reviews. And the Montana premiere at the Roxy Theater quickly sold out last fall. It has a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Although it has a "limited run" in theaters starting Friday, we couldn't find any showings in Montana, where Gladstone was raised on the Blackfeet Reservation and went to school at the University of Montana.

However, "Fancy Dance" will be streaming with an Apple TV+ subscription starting on June 28th.

Up next for Gladstone

Gladstone is already named to star in director Reed Morano's sci-fi film "The Memory Police", which is expected to start filming later this year.

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