The Lost Daughter
A largely forgettable film for women to reflect on the early, challenging years of motherhood.
What made this film so disappointing was that it was directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal and starred the Oscar winning Olivia Coleman. Despite those credentials, it was a confusing, disturbing film that made you resist disliking every lead female actress.
On top of that, I really didn’t understand the film from beginning to end. Ms. Colman played an American Professor visiting a beach location in Greece. You see her fixating on a mother (Dakota Johnson) and her young daughter as they constantly confront each other.
Ms. Coleman finds the child after she wanders off on the beach, keeping her doll despite the fact that everyone is searching for it. It made no sense despite becoming central to the film’s plot. It was unintelligible and made me wish that the theatre was passing out shots of Jack Daniels.
The movie also spent a great deal of time where Ms. Colman reflected on her past where she was played by Jessie Buckley. She ran off from her husband and two young daughters after having an affair with a bearded lecturer (Peter Sarsgaard) at a seminar. It was hard to find anything to like about Coleman’s character.
On top of that, two of the male employees of the resort, played by Paul Mescal and Ed Harris, spent their free time trying to find female guests that they could lay.
The bottom line is that this film quickly fell down a cinematic rat hole and stayed there. Its only value is if you sought a way to waste a couple of hours during the Christmas season.