The Lost Daughter, A Slippery Slope

I loved the book The Lost Daughter, as Elena Ferrante’s character wrestled with her wanderlust, her desire to excel professionally and experience midlife hedonism. But the movie? Not so much.
The harsh visual reality of exasperated mothers who simply induce more needy children was deeply affecting, but in a depressing way.
Adapted to screenplay and also directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, the writing was tight, yet the directing seemed downright clumsy, as in home movies jumpy. Terrence Malik seems to be one of the few directors who can manage making messy camera work look artistic.
I love the actresses Olivia Coleman and Dakota Johnson, and both do a yeowoman’s job of making their characters sympathetic. But even with that, it’s still hard to root for selfishness. God forbid Tik-Tok ‘decides’ it’s fashionable to abandon one’s children, if so, we’re going back to London in the mid 1800’s, when Dickens wrote of kids working to get their parents out of debtor’s prison.
Other solid acting performances were accomplished by Peter Sarsgaard (Maggie’s husband in real life), Ed Harris and Jesse Buckley (you can almost hear Charlie Kaufman screaming, ‘yeh, sure, but did you see her in MY movie?’ (which imo was truly a masterpiece level, I hear ya Charlie!).

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at

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