Friday, December 17, 2021

Find Gyllenhaal's 'Lost Daughter' on Day 4 of Movie Christmas 2021

So many movies, so little time. I mean, who's really counting, but more than a megaplex full of cinema still will debut between now and Christmas Day. Hence, for each of the next nine afternoons -- Dec. 17-25 -- visit by 6 p.m. (ET) and (hopefully) find a little something about a film currently playing in or close to surfacing at a theater (or streaming service) near you. It's our "12 Days of Movie Christmas," and it continues here today right now.

Motherhood certainly always has been more than meets the naked eye, but maybe no film has shown its many sides more intriguingly than "The Lost Daughter," in which a vacationing college professor/single mom (the thoroughly watchable Olivia Colman) makes startling, guilt-ridden pronouncements to just about anyone who will listen.

"Children are a crushing responsibility," she warns a perfect and very pregnant stranger (Dagmara Dominczyk from HBO's "Succession") during a five-minute conversation. Later, Colman's often mystifying Leda Caruso confesses to different people she meets on a seemingly romantic Greek island that "I'm a very selfish person," not to mention, "I'm an unnatural mother."

Following this year's two other fine behind-camera debuts by actresses Rebecca Hall ("Passing") and Justine Bateman ("Violet"), Maggie Gyllenhaal, herself the mother of two daughters, wears first-time feature director and writer hats well, too, in piling layers and layers of understanding into her novel-based dandy. The resonating result, already 2021's Gotham Awards-winning Best Picture, co-stars the once-again remarkably gifted Jessie Buckley (as Leda's younger self), Dakota Johnson, Ed Harris and Peter Sarsgaard (Gyllenhaal's husband).  

("The Lost Daughter" is now in select theaters and debuts Dec. 31 on Netflix. In northeast Ohio, it is showing exclusively at the Cedar Lee.)

Rated "R" by MPAA: sexual content, nudity and language; 2:01; $ $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5 

Coming tomorrow (Day 5 of Movie Christmas 2021): "Mother/Android"

And, if you missed Days 1, 2 or 3: "Nightmare Alley," "Spider-Man: No Way Home, "Swan Song"

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