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Starring: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris, Paul Mescal, Dagmara Domińczyk, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Peter Sarsgaard
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix psychological drama written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. The Lost Daughter (2021) centers on Leda (Olivia Colman), who whilst alone on a seaside vacation, becomes obsessed with a young mother, Nina (Dakota Johnson), and her daughter, Elena, as she watches them on the beach. Her obsession prompts memories of the terror, confusion, and intensity of her own early motherhood. Then an impulsive act shocks Leda into the strange and ominous world of her own mind, where she is forced to face the unconventional choices she made as a young mother and their consequences.
Our Favorite Quote:'We are obliged to do so many stupid things. From childhood even.' - Female Hiker (The Lost Daughter) Click To Tweet
Young Leda: [flashback to peeling an orange with her daughter] Don’t let it break. Peel it like a snake.
Callie: You don’t mind moving, right?
Leda: No, I’m fine here.
Callie: It’s just switching umbrellas so my family can be together.
Leda: I understand that, but I have no desire to move.
Leda: You got a lovely big belly.
Callie: Well, it’s a girl. So, you know.
Leda: And how much longer have you got?
Callie: Two months. My sister-in-law had hers right away. It took me eight years.
Leda: Well, these things happen when they’re supposed to happen. But have a great birthday.
Callie: You don’t have kids?
Leda: Yes, I have two daughters.
Callie: Where are they? How old are they?
Leda: Bianca is twenty-five and Martha is twenty-three.
Callie: No! I mean, you’re too young. You must’ve started really early.
Leda: I’m forty-eight.
Callie: S**t. No. You look amazing. We were saying before, you couldn’t be more than forty. Damn, you’re lucky.
Leda: Look, I’m sorry about earlier as well. I was feeling a bit anxious.
Callie: Yeah. Well, you know, the sun can do that. And, well, maybe your girls. Being away from your girls, you know?
Leda: Yeah, well, you’ll see. Children are a crushing responsibility. Happy birthday.
Lyle: I saw you at the beach today, at Callie’s birthday party.
Leda: Oh, well, I wasn’t exactly at the party. I didn’t see you.
Lyle: I saw you.
Nina: [after Leda finds Elena] I just wanted to come say thank you.
Leda: Yeah, it was scary.
Nina: I thought I was going to die.
Callie: Thank God you were here. Thank God.
Leda: I think sometimes it’s easier for strangers in these situations.
Callie: Yeah, I was so crazy, I couldn’t see right. You know, so many awful things can happen. People are so f***ed up.
Nina: It’s been a weird day. We found her, and then she lost her doll.
Leda: I used to have a doll like that. Called Mina.
Leda: Mina. Or Mini-Mama, as my mother called her. You’ll find it.
[we then later see that Leda has taken Elena’s doll]
Young Leda: You don’t like her? I gave Mina to you because I trusted you to take care of her. You know, you can be very thoughtless. This is my doll. You can’t treat her like s**t.
Young Bianca: No. She’s mine.
Young Leda: Yeah, well, she’s ruined.
[she throws the doll out the window and it breaks]
Will: I heard you’re a professor.
Leda: I think the correct response is, “Sounds like fun.”
Leda: It’s a rude joke.
Will: I saw you know a lot of languages?
Leda: Well, I don’t know anything very well. I also wasted a lot of time.
Leda: [referring to Nina’s family] Wow, it’s like talking about a film I saw in a language I didn’t quite understand.
Will: You watch movies in languages you don’t know?
Will: Without subtitles?
Will: [referring to Bianca and Martha] And do they look like you?
Leda: I don’t know. It’s hard to say, if I’m honest. They probably do.
Will: Because you’re beautiful.
Leda: You’re a very smart boy.
Leda: My mother was very beautiful. And when I was about Martha’s age, I felt like she hadn’t shared it. Like, in creating me she’d separated herself, like pushing a plate away if the food’s repulsive. But Bianca and Martha, it’s funny. What I find most interesting are the secret resemblances. You know? So what makes Bianca seductive and Martha not, and vice versa. Well, they blame me.
Leda: But Bianca is completely different, and she would never let herself feel deprived. She sucks everything out of me. All my secret skills. She’s the one that pointed out I’m finicky about peeling fruit. Because I don’t like it when the peel breaks. I like when it, you know, comes off in one long whatsit? String. Yeah, very, very uptight. Didn’t even know that about myself.
Joe: I’m working.
Young Leda: I’m suffocating.
Leda: Oh, poor creatures that came out of my belly. You know, the bits I find most beautiful about them are the bits that are alien to me. So I don’t have to take responsibility for that. Have I bored you?
Leda: Nina’s very beautiful.
Will: Yes. I hope they find the doll. They’re all freaking out, and I had to rake the entire beach looking for it.
Leda: They will.
'Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.' - Professor Hardy (The Lost Daughter) Click To Tweet
Will: What you did yesterday was amazing. When you wouldn’t move from the umbrella. But don’t do things like that anymore.
Will: Because they’re bad people.
Young Leda: Sometimes I get scared I can’t take care of them. What if I passed out, alone with them when you’re in Arizona?
Joe: Baby, you’re okay. I promise. Of course you can take care of them.
Callie: [referring to Elena’s doll] Whoever took her should get brain cancer.
Vassili: Oh, come on. It’s kids stuff, you understand? They like a toy, they take it. That’s it.
Nina: [referring to Elena] She’s driving me crazy.
Callie: [referring to children] They really put us through it, huh?
Leda: I thought you said you’re pregnant with your first.
Callie: I am. What were your daughters like when they were little? Were they like this willful little creature?
Leda: I honestly can’t remember much actually.
Callie: Oh, no, you can’t forget anything about your own children.
Leda: Is that your experience?
Callie: I just mean, did your daughters give you a hard time when they were little?
Leda: I just don’t remember.
Callie: Are you okay?
Nina: She doesn’t remember.
Leda: I was very tired.
Leda: [to Nina] Don’t bother buying her another doll. It won’t make any difference. You’ll find it.
Joe: Oh, my God. Life is so different without kids.
Male Hiker: I have kids. I have three kids. Twelve, nine, and seven. They are in London, with their mother.
Young Leda: So you ran away together?
Male Hiker: I guess we did.
Female Hiker: Yes, we did.
Female Hiker: We are obliged to do so many stupid things. From childhood even.
Young Leda: Obliged?
Female Hiker: Yes. What happened to us is the only thing that’s happened to me since I was born that makes sense.
Female Hiker: What are you working on?
Young Leda: I’m barely working.
Joe: Yeats. She’s working on a Yeats translation.
Male Hiker: Yeats?
Young Leda: No.
Male Hiker: In Italian? That is like chocolate on chocolate.
Lyle: Have you had dinner?
Leda: No, I haven’t had lunch.
Lyle: [referring to the octopus] It’s almost five. This is so fresh, you could even eat it raw.
Leda: Ooh, I think I would find that disgusting. Or was that a dirty joke?