The Lost Daughter

Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Year Released: 2021
Rating: 1.0

Italian literature professor Leda (Olivia Colman) goes on a "working holiday" to the Greek island of Kyopeli (which doesn't exist) but runs afoul a "dangerous" family from Queens - whose daughter's oh-so-precious doll goes missing - and continuously flashes back to her younger days (played by Jessie Buckley) when she neglected her two daughters and had an affair with an esteemed colleague (Peter Sarsgaard, the director's spouse).  The source novel - by pseudonymous writer "Elena Ferrante" - in theory sounds like it might make a decent directorial debut for actress Gyllenhaal, but she really overcooks the recipe: the camera is pressed in entirely too tightly on everyone's faces, the constantly flashbacks are irritating and it's bathed in symbolism: rotting fruit, bleeding fly, vomiting doll, etc.  It needed a whole lot more delicacy and scenes that didn't feel so stiff and clumsy, but Colman tries to make something out of it.