The Lost Daughter marks the writing and directing debut from Maggie Gyllenhaal (actor in films such as The Dark Knight and Crazy Heart).
Gyllenhaal starts the film with some on the shoulder (a la Black Swan or Mother! from Aronofsky) closeups but that dies down rather quickly. It will resurface later briefly as Olivia Colman’s Leda dances with Ed Harris’ Lyle near the end of the film.
Leda is on vacation on her own in Greece. She has some interaction with Nina (Dakota Johnson), Nina’s daughter and… Nina’s daughter’s doll. Roughly half the film surrounds flashbacks of young Leda (Jessie Buckley), her family, and her affair with Professor Hardy (Peter Sarsgaard).
Gyllenhaal slides the narrative back and forth between modern day and memory (the flashbacks, which start as splices seem to get more and more extended as Colman’s mental state gets worse over the course of the film) as Colman is surely up to the task at portraying a foggy sense of regret and loss. In some scenes it is Buckley who is daydreaming and having fantasies, so this means Colman’s older Leda is remembering her memory of a daydream and fantasy…curious.
Another fine performance for both Colman and Buckley. Buckley’s Leda has domestic strife and desperation- Colman’s Leda is lonely and irritable. She refuses to move at the beach and is rude to Ed Harris’ Lyle at the bar.
[…] The Lost Daughter – Gyllenhaal […]