BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

The Lost Daughter: Everything We Know About Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Novel

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After years of starring in major blockbusters, actress and writer Maggie Gyllenhaal is ready to make her directorial debut with Netflix’s upcoming film, The Lost Daughter.

Adapted from Elena Ferrante’s 2006 novel of the same name, the feature will star Oscar winner Olivia Colman in the leading role, along with Dakota Johnson and an A-list cast.

The Lost Daughter will hit theaters on December 17 and will be available on Netflix on December 31. Here is everything we know about it so far.

Maggie Gyllenhaal will make her directorial debut.

After appearing in projects like Donny Darko, The Dark Knight, and HBO’s The Deuce, Gyllenhaal will be stepping behind the camera. Initially, she told Vanity Fair, she was interested in directing Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment, but the rights of the book were already taken.

In an interview with Deadline, Gyllenhaal explained what sparked her interest in The Lost Daughter. “When I finished reading Elena Ferrante’s The Lost Daughter, I felt that something secret and true had been said out loud. And I was both disturbed and comforted by that. I immediately thought how much more intense the experience would be in a movie theatre, with other people around. And I set to work on this adaptation,” she said. “I find that the script has attracted other people interested in exploring these secret truths about motherhood, sexuality, femininity, desire. And I’m thrilled to continue my collaboration with such brave and exciting actors and filmmakers.”

The film is based on the novel by Elena Ferrante.

The synopsis of the film, per a Netflix press release, reads, “Alone on a seaside vacation, Leda (Olivia Colman) becomes consumed with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and daughter as she watches them on the beach. Unnerved by their compelling relationship (and their raucous and menacing extended family), Leda is overwhelmed by her own memories of the terror, confusion, and intensity of early motherhood. 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.”

Gyllenhaal will not only direct the movie but also wrote the screenplay. “The process of taking a text as an actor, analyzing it, distilling it to, ‘Why is this scene in this movie? Why do I think it’s important?’…is, in an emotional and intellectual way, very similar to the way I worked on adapting the book,” Gyllenhaal told Vanity Fair.

The Lost Daughter: A Novel

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Netflix released the first look photos of the film.

On August 19, Netflix shared the first images that feature Olivia Colman, Paul Mescal, Dakota Johnson, and Peter Sarsgaard in their roles. Check out the photos from The Lost Daughter‘s Instagram page below.

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Netflix has not released the official trailer yet.

The film will arrive in theaters before heading to Netflix.

The Lost Daughter will make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September. It will then be released in theaters on December 17. Starting December 31, Netflix subscribers can view the movie on the streaming service.

The movie was filmed in Greece.

It was originally set to film in New Jersey, but due to the pandemic, the set was moved to Greece, per Indiewire.

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Oscar winner Olivia Colman stars.

The Lost Daughter will star The Crown and Fleabag star Olivia Colman as Leda and Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson as Nina. The Haunting of Bly Manor’s Oliver Jackson-Cohen will play Toni, The Magnificent Seven actor Peter Sarsgaard will play Professor Hardy, and Normal People breakout star Paul Mescal plays Will. Jessie Buckley, Jack Farthing, Panos Koronis, Ed Harris, Robyn Elwell, Dagmara Dominczyk, Athena Martinand Ellie Blake have joined the cast as well.

Starr Savoy is a fellow at ELLE.com, where she writes about celebrity, culture, beauty, and fashion.

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