The Lost Daughter (2021)


The Lost Daughter (2021)

Leda is a middle-aged divorcée devoted to her work as an English teacher and to her two children. When her daughters leave home to be with their father in Canada, Leda anticipates a period of loneliness and longing. Instead, slightly embarrassed by the sensation, she feels liberated, as if her life has become lighter, easier. She decides to take a holiday by the sea, in a small coastal town in southern Italy. But after a few days of calm and quiet, things begin to take a menacing turn. Leda encounters a family whose brash presence proves unsettling, at times even threatening. When a small, seemingly meaningless, event occurs, Leda is overwhelmed by memories of the difficult and unconventional choices she made as a mother and their consequences for herself and her family. The seemingly serene tale of a woman's pleasant rediscovery of herself soon becomes the story of a ferocious confrontation with an unsettled past.
IMDb   N/A
Metacritic   88 %
RottenTomatoes  92 %
Release Date
Runtime2h 1min
Content Rating
AwardsAwards1 nomination
CompanyEndeavor Content, Faliro House Productions, Pie Films
CountryUSA, UK, Greece, Israel
Profesor Hardyas Profesor Hardy
Young Ledaas Young Leda
Willas Will
Bianca (older)as Bianca (older)
Panos Koronis
Panos Koronis
Vasilias Vasili
Vassilis Koukalani
Vassilis Koukalani
Mauriceas Maurice
Abe Cohen
Abe Cohen
Konstantinos Samaa
Konstantinos Samaa
Rough boy 2as Rough boy 2
Yiannis Cheliotis
Yiannis Cheliotis
Kalli's sonas Kalli's son
Spyros Maragoudakis
Spyros Maragoudakis
Rough Boy 1as Rough Boy 1

The Lost Daughter (film)

The Lost Daughter is a 2021 psychological drama film written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (in her feature directorial debut), based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante. The film stars Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Paul Mescal, Dagmara Domińczyk, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Peter Sarsgaard, and Ed Harris.

It had its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2021, where Gyllenhaal won the Golden Osella Award for Best Screenplay. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 17, 2021, in a limited release prior to streaming on Netflix on December 31.


A woman, while on a summer holiday, finds herself becoming obsessed with another woman and her daughter, prompting memories of her own early motherhood to come back and unravel her.


  • Olivia Colman as Leda Caruso Jessie Buckley as Young Leda Caruso
  • Jessie Buckley as Young Leda Caruso
  • Dakota Johnson as Nina
  • Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy
  • Ed Harris as Lyle
  • Paul Mescal as Will
  • Dagmara Domińczyk as Callie
  • Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Toni
  • Jack Farthing as Joe
  • Alba Rohrwacher as Woman


Maggie Gyllenhaal acquired the film rights to the Elena Ferrante novel in October 2018, with Gyllenhaal writing and directing the adaptation.

In February 2020, Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard were cast in the film. In August, Paul Mescal was added. In October 2020, Oliver Jackson-Cohen joined the cast of the film. In November 2020, Ed Harris, Dagmara Domińczyk, Jack Farthing and Alba Rohrwacher joined the cast of the film.

Principal photography began in September 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Lost Daughter had its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2021. In August 2021, Netflix acquired distribution rights to the film in the United States and several other countries. In October 2021, Netflix further acquired the distribution rights in more countries, including the United Kingdom. By the end of its run, it will have screened at film festivals in the Telluride, Hamptons, London, Lyon Metropolis, Mill Valley, Montclair, New York, San Diego (closing night) and Zurich. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on December 17, 2021, in a limited release prior to streaming on Netflix on December 31, 2021.


At its opening night world premiere, the movie received a four minute standing ovation from Venice Film Festival attendees in the Sala Grande.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, which categorizes reviews only as positive or negative, 91% of 35 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 8.10/10. Metacritic, another aggregator, sampled 12 critics and calculated a weighted average score of 88 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".


2021 Gotham AwardsBest FeatureCharlie Dorfman, Maggie Gyllenhaal,
Osnat Handelsman-Keren and Talia Kleinhendler
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director AwardMaggie GyllenhaalPending
Best ScreenplayMaggie GyllenhaalPending
Outstanding Lead PerformanceOlivia ColmanPending
Outstanding Supporting PerformanceJessie BuckleyPending
2021 Venice Film FestivalGolden Lion Award for Best FilmThe Lost DaughterNominated
Golden Osella Award for Best ScreenplayMaggie GyllenhaalWon