Elena Ferrante, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Peter Sarsgaard
Rated: R for sexual content/nudity and language
Leda (Olivia Colman) is on a vacation in order to escape and rest from her daily life. That trip becomes more when Leda becomes consumed with a young mother, Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter that regularly play on the beach where Leda reads. Ninas extended family all cause chaos for Leda’s hope for a peaceful trip, and she begins to unravel she also takes an introspective look at her mother, her parenting her own two kids, and what it means to be a parent.
This is based off a novel and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal in a way that feels genuine, surreal at times, yet always grounded in real emotion. Olivia Colman again proves she is one of the greatest actresses of our time with another Oscar-worthy performance. Seeing her character in positions of reflection on how she raised her kids (or lack, thereof) as well as the regrets she has are performed expertly. The emotional core of the film comes from her flashback memories with her younger daughter, paralleled with Nina and her daughters struggle to get along together.
We also have a little bit of romance between Ed Harris and Olivia Coleman. Harris, being the landlord/caretaker of the house Leda is staying in for her trip, shows a more loving and brighter side of his acting that after ‘Westworld’ feels a little jarring, but refreshing to see. ‘The Lost Daughter’ is a strong adaptation that I can see being nominated for more than just acting awards. The screenplay is strong, the writing and editing works well. There are some pacing issues but still, I would say for fans of character drama this is one I would recommend.