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Netflix movie 'The Lost Daughter' is a haunting meditation on motherhood

The drama stars Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, and Ed Harris. #k5evening

SEATTLE — One of 2021’s most authentic and compelling films is the psychological drama "The Lost Daughter."

The Netflix movie is adapted from a novel and offers an unflinching look at the internal struggle many women face between motherhood and their own intellectual and sexual needs.

Olivia Colman stars as a woman on a solo vacation in Greece. There, she crosses paths with a mysterious young mother — played by Dakota Johnson — and they share an instant connection.

Throughout the movie, Colman's character comes to terms with her own experiences as a young mother, including frustration, depression, and selfishness. But for all the heaviness, the experience on set — even as they shot during the pandemic — was upbeat.

"Wouldn't that be great if you could just continue to work with people that you really loved?” Johnson asked.

Colman agreed, adding, "It was so enjoyable, and every day you woke up and went, 'Oh goody, we get to do this again and do some fun scenes.' And be directed by Maggie."

Known for her acting, Maggie Gyllenhaal directed, produced, and wrote the screenplay.

"I wouldn't have been invested in thinking about motherhood in the same way if I hadn't been a mother for 15 years,” Gyllenhaal said. "There was some silver lining in a way in the pandemic because [my kids] could come with me to Greece, they were doing remote school anyway, so it really was an ideal time for us to be away from home."

It was a true family affair, because Gyllenhaal also cast her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, in a small but pivotal role.

"I felt incredibly nervous just because I didn't want to be the weak link,” he said.

"The Lost Daughter" is rated R and debuts on Netflix Dec. 31.

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