[Header Image: Netflix & Spentzos Films]
“I’m an unnatural mother.”
While it’s not a favourite, I did enjoy The Lost Daughter more than I was expecting to and it actually grew on me a little in the few days after I watched it. In particular, I really enjoyed the way it looks and sounds. For the most part, it manages to keep a strong aesthetic (and feeling) throughout even if it does waver here and there.
That being said, by far the best part is the acting, especially Olivia Colman as Leda (along with Jessie Buckley as the younger version of the character). She is a flawed main character and those flaws are not hidden but instead, explored. Not so that they can be figured out or fixed but simply to give us, the audience, the chance to get to know her. It makes her feel more three-dimensional and, therefore, makes her far more interesting to watch. Out of all the other characters, Nina (Dakota Johnson) is by far the best and most interesting one. This is in part due to her similarities to Leda — particularly how relatable they can both be — but also because she feels the most fleshed out.
I do have mixed feelings about Nina’s family. While they are important — their interactions with Leda help to tease out details about herself and her life, which in turn helped to move the plot forward — their general (negative) reputation felt a little bit underdeveloped. It seemed like it was thrown in there but didn’t really seem to lead anywhere or contribute to much. They weren’t the main focus, so in ways it makes sense, but it did also feel unnecessary.
That being said, The Lost Daughter is generally more character-driven than anything else although there is technically a plot. One that focuses on two timelines, the present day and Leda’s past. This delve into her character means the pacing is slow but not necessarily boring. Overall, it’s satisfying in that the movie tells a complete story and sticks to its guns of a flawed main character who isn’t always easy to like or support. As previously mentioned, this movie looks and sounds pretty incredible and is a pleasure to watch and hear. The vibes and aesthetic are great but not too strong throughout.
Without saying too much, there is an open-ending that really offers up two possible conclusions depending on what you, as the viewer, want to believe. At the end of the day, I would say The Lost Daughter is worth checking out although it won’t be for everyone.
Rating: ★★★½ /5