How Maggie Gyllenhaal's The Lost Daughter Compares To Elena Ferrante's Book

Jan 01, 2022 583

BY: Keely Weiss

As a movie, The Lost Daughter has the satisfyingly melancholy feel of a rained-out vacation in a dream destination. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut is a prickly examination of ambivalence towards motherhood, with an emotional heft that belies its coastal Italian setting.

More than picturesque set dressing, the locale is a nod to the source material: a slim volume of the same name by Elena Ferrante, a precursor of sorts to the Neapolitan Novels that later made her famous. (Fans of those books will notice some familiar names and themes in The Lost Daughter—both the novella and the movie.) Though Gyllenhaal has Americanized her characters, the drama still unfurls on the same slice of Ionian Coast as in Ferrante’s original telling. 

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