Peter Travers of Rolling Stone reported that Gyllenhaal was "funny, touching and vital as Jean" and that her part was "conventionally conceived, but Gyllenhaal plays it with a tough core of intelligence and feeling." The play focuses on the Prozorov sisters (Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hecht, and Juliet Rylance) "unlucky in love, unhappy in the provinces and longing to return to Moscow", as summarized by Bloomberg's Jeremy Gerard.In the 2012 film Won't Back Down, she played a parent involved in a parent trigger takeover of her child's school.For her role in it, she won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film.
She subsequently starred in the fantasy comedy family film Nanny Mc Phee and the Big Bang (2010), the drama Won't Back Down (2012) and the comedy-drama Frank (2014), for which she was nominated for a BIFA Award.
In 2014, she made her Broadway debut in a revival of The Real Thing, and also starred in the British television BBC political spy thriller television miniseries The Honourable Woman.
that Sherry elicits sympathy even in her darkest and weakest moments", Gyllenhaal acknowledged her character was a damsel in distress to an extent, but said director Christopher Nolan sought ways to empower her character, so "Rachel's really clear about what's important to her and unwilling to compromise her morals, which made a nice change" from the many conflicted characters she had previously portrayed.
and remains Gyllenhaal's most commercially successful picture to date.
She appeared as a Secret Service agent in the action-thriller White House Down (2013).
In 2014, she played the title role as Baroness Nessa Stein, a British-Israeli businesswoman heiress in the British television BBC Television political spy thriller television miniseries, The Honourable Woman.
In a Salon review of the film, Stephanie Zacharek called Gyllenhaal's character "a tough cookie in a Stanwyck-style bias-cut gown" and stated that "the movie feels smarter and more supple when she's on-screen".
Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News was less than enthusiastic about her performance, writing: "Gyllenhaal, who was so dynamic as a druggie in the film Sherrybaby, plays Yelena with a slow-mo saunter and monotonous pasted-on smile that makes it seem as if she's been in Sherry's stash." with Gyllenhaal receiving praise from critics.
even in just slightly less intelligent hands, this movie could say something really weird." Her next roles were in smaller independent films: Casa de los Babys (2003), a story about six American women impatiently waiting out their lengthy residency requirements in an unidentified South American country before picking up their adoptive babies, In 2004, Gyllenhaal returned to theater in a Los Angeles production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/ Kabul as Priscilla, the Homebody's daughter, who spends most of the play searching for her elusive mother in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Kushner gave her the role in Homebody/ Kabul on the strength of her performance in Closer.
His breakthrough performance was as Homer Hickam in October Sky (1999) and he garnered an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Male Lead for playing the title character in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001), in which he played a psychologically troubled teenager alongside his older sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal.