The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter ★★★

The Lost Daughter is an intriguing character study that unfortunately gets lost (no pun intended) in a generic story structure. There is no real rhyme or reason to the flashbacks that make up a solid 40% of the film, and honestly, by the end of the movie, you realize not much of these sequences added much to the film. It's a fascinating story without them, but with them, it just feels like fear that Colman wasn't enough to hold the film together on her own.

This is bizarre, since Colman is easily the best asset this film has going for it. She delivers a truly dynamic performance, heartbreaking yet also quite funny. She has a magnetic screen presence here, which is partially another reason why the flashbacks just don't work (no offense to Jessie Buckley, who is often excellent but is saddled with poor material here). The supporting cast is fine, but only Johnson and Harris really stick out positively.

The Lost Daughter is really just fine. Gyllenhaal's directorial debut works when it needs and has a strong lead performance at its core. However, the flashback structure prevents its melodrama from really soaring and ultimately lets the film down significantly. Bummer.

CCFF21 #1

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