Atom User Reviews for The Lost Daughter
The story has its moments of suspense, especially when Nina's child wanders off from the beach. But the soul of the film exists in the small exchanges and tensions between characters.
The movie captures the spirit of the novel well. It’s suspenseful, but it’s not a thriller; there are elements of obsession and eroticism, but they never quite go where you expect. The end is deeply ambiguous, neither punishing nor condoning its characters’ behavior. It simply asks us to sit with them — to pay them the respect of attention, and learn something about ourselves in the process.
[Gyllenhaal’s] chief successes are in making her adaptation of The Lost Daughter as intellectually engaging as the novel, whilst bringing the characters to life with performances beautifully appropriate for cinema––one thing an author doesn’t have in his or her arsenal, is summoning a camera “close-up,” with an actor creating that particular emotional transparency in tandem.