The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter-nf

This is an intense film about the various dimensions of motherhood that might be best understood by a mother looking back at the pulls and pushes she has experienced. Leda is a woman in her late 40s who by herself goes to a Greek Beach Resort. She interacts with a woman and her family that she meets there who reminds her of herself when she was a younger mother of two young girls. We see her as a young academic, who translates written materials, in a marriage where her needs and wishes are subsumed by those of her husband, who takes for granted that she is always there to pick up the pieces. We see her frustration and exhaustion from the relentless demands of her children. We also watch as she goes to a professional conference where she is seduced by a well-respected professor and who values her intellect as well as being physically attracted to her. The cinematic experience allows the viewer to understand the love and devotion that she has to her children yet how she leaves them to achieve a certain degree of self-fulfillment. She returns three years later but carries the guilt of her actions as an ever-present burden

On one level, the viewer feels that we are watching bad parenting as loving children are abandoned for periods of time, but on the other hand, there is never any doubt that in her heart she loves the children but is struggling with her own conflicts.

Olivia Colman is terrific as the older middle-aged Leda and Jessie Buckley as the somewhat young Leda who not only captures her role but seems to have a strong physical resemblance to her older self. Both women are nominated for Oscars as best actress and best supporting actress respectively.

Maggie Gyllenhaal directed and wrote the screen play based on the story by Elena Ferrante and one cannot help feeling that these women have the capacity to identify with the main characters in the film. It is also impressive when a director achieves such realistic performances by the young children in the film as was done in this film.

Category: 4 Stars, Drama | Tags: , , , , , Comment »

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