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The Lost Daughter Movie Review: Olivia Colman Sparkles In Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Masterful Directorial Debut

Vishal Singh On Entering As A Challenger On Bigg Boss 15

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Rating:


4.0
/5


Star
Cast:

Olivia
Colman,
Dakota
Johnson,
Jessie
Buckley,
Ed
Harris,
Peter
Sarsgaard,
Paul
Mescal,
Dagmara
Dominczyk,
Jack
Farthing


Director:

Maggie
Gyllenhaal

One
does
not
know
if
it’s
a
trend
these
days
to
make
every
film
a
psychological
thriller.
The
recent
films
that
one
has
reviewed,
including
Olivia
Colman
and
Anthony
Hopkins’

The
Father

and
Kristen
Stewart’s

Spencer
,
have
been
so.
Hollywood
actress
Maggie
Gyllenhaal’s
directorial
debut

The
Lost
Daughter


released
on
Netflix
on
December
31
(New
Year’s
Eve)

is
an
addition
to
the
genre.
But
like
the
two
films
earlier
mentioned,

The
Lost
Daughter

is
also
a
gem,
which
is
why
we
will
start
with
a
comment
upon
the
direction
of
the
film,
followed
by
the
story,
technical
aspects
and
performances.

The Lost Daughter Movie Review and Rating

Direction


The
Lost
Daughter

has
been
masterfully
written
and
directed
by
Maggie
Gyllenhaal.
Full
points
to
the
acclaimed
actress
for
writing
the
screenplay
of
and
directing
an
excellent
adaptation
of
Elena
Ferrante’s
book.
The
usual
opinion
is
that
movies
based
on
books
or
novels
are
not
as
good
as
the
original
literature.
But
there
are
a
few
exceptions
where
the
movie
is
equally
good
or
sometimes
even
better,
with
a
few
cinematic
liberties,
of
course.

For
instance,
many
of
Steven
Spielberg’s
movies,
including

Schindler’s
List
,

Munich
,

Jurassic
Park
,

Jaws
….
are
groundbreaking,
or
we
have

The
Godfather

film
series,
or
movies
like

Fight
Club

and

Die
Hard
,
or
even
Alfred
Hitchcock’s
famous

Psycho
,
adapted
from
a
not-so-popular
book.
And
some
adaptations
of
popular
fiction
like
Jane
Austen
novels,
or
graphic
novel
inspirations
like

Blue
is
the
Warmest
Colour

that
are
cult.


The
Lost
Daughter

totally
gets
there
as
an
adaptation.
Not
usually
expected
from
a
debutante
director
in
the
strange
ways
of
Hollywood,
especially
who
has
been
an
actress
herself,
Maggie
Gyllenhaal
deftly
handles
the
subject.
She
smoothly
initiates
the
viewer
into
the
film,
who
goes
along
not
expecting
what
follows.

The
psychological
drama
adds
a
certain
amount
of
suspense,
which
makes
it
gripping
but
not
sinister.
As
the
plot
unfolds,
it
is
unnerving
and
definitely
not
an
easy
film
to
watch.
Especially
for
mothers.
But
the
nuances
of
a
mother’s
life,
then
and
now,
a
mother
who
is
always
trying
to
do
her
best
for
her
children
and
husband,
are
brought
out
through
subtle
placements
in
the
plot.
Gyllenhaal
has
admitted
that
being
a
mother
has
helped
her
bring
in
those,
apart
from
the
book.

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Oscar-Worthy

Story


The
Lost
Daughter

at
first
shows
Leda
Caruso
(Olivia
Colman)
lying
on
a
beach,
distressed.
The
film
begins
with
her
heading
to
a
vacation
in
Greece,
living
in
an
apartment
on
the
beachside.
While
at
the
beach
everyday,
Leda,
who
has
studied
comparative
literature
and
is
a
professor,
encounters
a
huge
family
who
are
annoying
to
the
hilt.

Leda
tries
her
best
to
ignore
them,
but
notices
a
young
mother
Nina
(Dakota
Johnson),
who
constantly
reminds
her
of
her
own
self
maybe
20
years
ago.
Nina’s
little
daughter
goes
missing,
and
it
is
Leda
who
finds
her.
All
this
time,
Leda
has
flashes
of
a
similar
incident
of
her
young
daughter
Bianca
being
lost.
The
younger
Leda,
played
by
Jessie
Buckley,
struggles
to
take
time
out
for
herself,
while
managing
her
two
daughters
Bianca
and
Martha.

Dakota Johnson and Olivia Colman in The Last Daughter

Nina
and
Leda
develop
an
uncanny
friendship,
with
Nina
noticing
something
is
off
with
Leda.
Others
who
try
to
befriend
Leda
are
Will
(Paul
Mescal)
and
Lyle
(Ed
Harris),
who
are
caretakers
and
live
on
the
beach.
She
is
friendly
with
them,
even
flirts
a
bit
or
lets
them
flirt,
but
is
cautious.
Is
Leda
hiding
something?
Well,
watch
the
movie
to
unravel
that.

Leda’s
flashbacks
are
part
of
the
film
throughout,
helping
the
viewer
understand
her
story
of
motherhood,
and
what
it
does
to
a
woman,
her
struggle
for
independence
and
to
achieve
her
academic
and
professional
goals,
and
her
struggle
to
find
love
and
friendship.
The
film
also
explores
how
loners
are
perceived
in
society.
With
all
her
explorations
in
life,
Leda
ultimately
comes
across
as
a
loner,
although
she
is
happy
with
herself
but
obviously
missing
her
children
and
has
the
perennial
‘mother’s
guilt’.

Some
parts
of
this
will
resonate
with
most
mothers
and
fathers.
Bringing
up
kids
was
never
an
easy
job,
but
one
never
talks
about
the
psychological
impact
it
may
have
on
the
parents.
If
you
are
not
a
parent,
if
anything,

The
Lost
Daughter

will
make
you
respect
your
parents
more.

This
is
one
of
those
movies
that
leaves
the
ending
to
one’s
imagination.
Again
reminding
us
of
the
recent

The
Father
.

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And
Olivia
Colman’s
Heartbreaking
&
Psychological
Thriller
Of
A
Film!

Performances

Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter with doll

Academy
Award-winner
Olivia
Colman
truly
sparkles
in
Maggie
Gyllenhaal’s
directorial
debut.
In
every
film
or
series
of
Colman,
we
see
something
new.
Also
an
executive
producer
on

The
Lost
Daughter
,
Colman
is
one
of
the
most
extraordinary
actresses
of
our
times.
She
is
truly
involved
in
her
character
of
Leda.
Jessie
Buckley
has
done
equal
justice
to
playing
the
younger
Leda
and
is
part
of
half
the
film.

Dakota Johnson in The Lost Daughter

It
feels
good
to
see
Ed
Harris
in
a
role
like
this,
an
easy-going,
caring
man
named
Lyle.
Dakota
Johnson
arouses
curiosity
but
she
is
not
overbearing
in
her
screen
presence,
which
is
good.
Peter
Sarsgaard
as
Professor
Hardy,
Leda’s
love
interest,
and
Paul
Mescal
are
charming
enough
for
their
roles.
Dagmara
Dominczyk
as
Nina’s
sister-n-law
Callie
and
Jack
Farthing
as
Leda’s
husband
Joe
are
apt
for
their
roles.

Technical
Aspects

Dakota
Johnson
said
in
an
interview
to
Yahoo
Entertainment
that
she
did
not
feel
objectified
while
filming

The
Lost
Daughter

in
the
presence
of
Maggie
Gyllenhaal.
Having
a
woman
director
and
a
female
director
of
photography
certainly
helps
in
not
inserting
the
male
gaze
unnecessarily
on
screen,
especially
in
the
beach
scenes
and
those
involving
Dakota.
The
cinematography
by
Hélène
Louvart
is
beautiful
and
tells
the
story
like
it
is.
No
sexual
close-ups
just
because
it’s
a
beach
film.
And
more
realistic
shots
included
even
in
the
young
Leda’s
scenes.

The
soundtrack
by
Dickon
Hinchliffe
stays
on
with
you.
Editing
by
Affonso
Gonçalves
is
sharp
enough
for
a
psych
drama.

Verdict


The
Lost
Daughter

proves
how
several
women
who
are
at
the
helm
of
this
film
are
masters
of
their
craft.
But
it
is
too
good
a
film
just
to
be
dismissed
or
celebrated
according
to
the
gender
of
the
cast
and
crew
involved.

Rating

We
will
go
with
4
out
of
5
stars
for
Maggie
Gyllenhaal’s

The
Lost
Daughter
.

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