By Emily-Rose Toohey
In the age of streaming services, the movie landscape has never looked so different.
Netflix is dominating our viewing and in recent years, the platform has tried to catch up with the big league studios and offer prestige programming.
Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut, ‘The Lost Daughter’, is exactly what Netflix is looking for.
After premiering to positive reviews at Venice Film Festival last September, ‘The Lost Daughter’ finally made its Netflix debut on 31 December.
Quite honestly, it’s a great film.
It stars the always excellent Olivia Colman as a nearly 60-year-old woman who decides to vacation alone to Greece.
She becomes obsessed with a young mother (played by Dakota Johnson) and her daughter as she reflects upon the difficulties of her own motherhood experiences raising her children.
Jessie Buckley plays Colman’s younger self in a myriad of flashback sequences that are both affecting and sincere.
Before I continue, however, here’s a disclaimer: I am not a mother.
While the movie itself is undeniably emotional, this emotion may be felt particularly strongly by parents – especially mothers.
It offers a look into the struggles of loving your children and wishing for some time away from the sometimes chaotic world of motherhood the film depicts.
It’s a quiet movie that allows the audience to sit with its characters and feel their every emotion deeply.
It also asks for your empathy.
This is never more apparent than when it’s revealed that Colman’s character made a choice to temporarily leave her family life behind.
She is mingled with both debilitating regret and a longing for this same freedom years later as she sits quietly on a beach.
It’s messy and it’s complicated, and it’s beautifully depicted onscreen.
It’s a testament to modern storytelling and the genius of female creatives both in front of and most importantly, behind the camera, that a movie like this was even made.
Humans are flawed beings and not everything is easy.
This film shows motherhood like it’s never been shown before and it’s truly fantastic.
But in all truth, the reality of the tale it tells is also extremely heartbreaking.
‘The Lost Daughter’ is available now on Netflix.