The Lost Daughter

The Lost Daughter ★★★★★

The sweeping, underlying love for mothers and the art of mothering that holds this story up, my gosh. All the reviews that quip “Yep never having kids” or “Motherhood’s not for everyone” miss so many points. This film and Elena’s story are about how the odds are stacked against women whether they want to be brilliant at home or at work or both and all the rest. We can’t have it all, all at the same time. We are no more psychically predisposed to the job than fathers, but are expected to be. It is not some great, coordinated conspiracy to bury the truth of how difficult the job is; we just know that the days would be pretttty fucking boring and our audience would run out of patience if we bitched and moaned about how hard it is all day long. 
And: it is never easy but nor is it entirely hard all the time and The Lost Daughter wants us to know this. Did you miss the bit where young Leda comes in the door and falls on the floor, piled on by her laughing, loving daughters? The bit where her adult child calls older Leda to chat about the hairdressing mishap? The moment where Nina holds her daughter close despite her exhaustion? Pay attention to these tiny moments of joy and transparency. They are there. Maggie has captured them in devoted closeups. All the greys between the black and the white. 
When young Leda’s older colleague comes to her hotel door, practically spitting his congratulations, that right there is the crux of it all. Even when she succeeds in spite of her increasingly hectic home life, she is a threat. 
Our brains are brilliant. When it is our moment we need unfettered, unconditional, solid and kind support. 
Raising humans (humans! Children are humans! They grow! They become us! Please stop saying you hate children / can’t stand to hear babies cry / it is lazy and sad and offensive / it is okay not to want them, it really is, but to hate?!) is not a solitary role. We need our tribe. And we need our turn. 

Also: perhaps don’t holiday with gangsters from Queens.

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