The critically-acclaimed directorial debut from actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter, is now available on Netflix, with star Olivia Colman being tipped for another Oscar nomination. The drama movie was shown on the film festival circuit, including London, Venice and New York before arriving on Netflix on December 31.
It is an adaptation of the novel by Elena Ferrante, with some changes made in terms of making the central character Leda British – she is played by Colman in the present day and Jessie Buckley in the flashbacks. It also moves the Italian setting of the book to a Greek island, where Leda is holidaying alone.
On the beach, Leda clashes with a large and loud family – there is young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson), Callie (Dagmara Dominczyk), Vassili (Panos Koronis) and Nina’s occasionally present husband Toni (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). There is the suggestion that they are a powerful family who you do not want to cross.
The film also stars Ed Harris, Paul Mescal, Jack Farthing and Peter Sarsgaard. It is about Leda’s struggles with motherhood, which comes out in surprising ways when Nina’s daughter briefly goes missing on the beach.
The Lost Daughter has a 96% approval rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Mark Kermode of The Guardian says that; “As always, Colman manages to express deep wellsprings of emotion with few words and fewer gestures – her face telegraphing great swathes of anguish beneath polite smiles and annoyed glances.”
Ella Kemp of Empire says that The Lost Daughter is “a film that might raise more questions than it answers, but is often more rewarding for it.” And Robbie Collin of The Telegraph says “It’s a worthy adaptation – a murkily funny, shiveringly intimate drama…”
The Lost Daughter is highly likely to earn Maggie Gyllenhaal an Oscar nomination or win for Best Adapted Screenplay. If you’re still in the festive mood, check out our guide to the best Netflix Christmas movies.