The Lost Daughter - Review (London Film Festival 2021)
Children Are a Crushing Responsibility. 4 / 5
Directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
A woman’s seaside vacation takes a dark turn when her obsession with a young mother forces her to confront secrets from her past.
Maggie Gyllenhaal makes her remarkable directorial debut in The Lost Daughter.
Olivia Colman effortlessly waltzes her way to a Best Actress nomination as Leda who's holiday slowly unravels after she becomes infatuated with a local family and secrets from her past creep to the surface.
Gyllenhaal's directorial style jumps between the intimate and the disorientating with handheld super close ups capturing the character's micro-emotions and focus points but is not always as effective as it thinks it is, at times becoming borderline distracting.
But it certainly makes up for it with a captivating story that becomes darker as we explore unanswered secrets from Leda's past. As the two interweaving stories both come to a devastating crescendo, the performances shine as Colman and Jessie Buckley create a complete character full of remorse and guilt.
The Lost Daughter was a much more complex character study than I was expecting that explores loneliness and the responsibilities of parenthood to distressingly striking effect.