Maggie Gyllenhaal is a well-known Filmmaker and a popular American actress. She is the daughter of Filmmaker Naomi Achs and Stephen Gyllenhaal. She began her career as a child artist with small roles in some of her father’s films. However, she certainly has come a long way, in the present day.
Maggie Gyllenhaal made her very first directorial debut with an adaptive screenplay from Elena Ferrante’s novel, ‘The Lost Daughter.’ The novel basically deals with the complications, confusions and challenges of raising and bringing up children. In the movie, Colman gives an amazingly unapologetic performance as a character named Leda and Johnson depicts and portrays the overwhelming duty of parenthood. The screenplay has been nominated for the Oscars. As a commonly known fact, Gyllenhaal’s writing as well directing are extraordinarily fierce and her decision to adapt a novel written in first-person as a third-person movie gives us an essence of how bold the director is.
The Lost Daughter is truly a star-studded thriller from Elena Ferrante’s best-selling novel of all times. The novel itself has received a good amount of acclaim and now, the director’s adaption of the novel in a screenplay has certainly become the talk of the town.
“I was bowled over her work as a writer.” Says Gyllenhaal about Ferrante in an interview.
About the screenplay
Olivia Colman, who plays the role of Leda, takes a solo vacation at a beach in Greece after leaving her children to live with their father. There, Leda comes across Nina(the character played by Dakota Johnson) It seemed challenging for her to effortlessly put up with the toddler. This reminds Nina of her challenges with motherhood and she flashes back to the hardships ofher initial motherhood experiences. She, in a promising manner, intertwines the flashbacks with the presently occurring day’s story.
As a matter of interest, the writer-director precisely alters this tale of maternal dilemma into her own imaginative creation.
The narration of the skipped scene
In the breakdown, Gyllenhaal reveals how star Olivia Colman enhanced the scene of exposition by adding a great lot of depth to it. She demonstrated how amazingly Colman added profundity to the scene in the restaurant between her character, Leda and Paul Mescal’s character named Will.
This scene catches sight of Leda, played by Oliva Colman and Will, played by Paul Mescal at the dinner. The pair begins a flirtatious discussion after a few gulps of wine. Gyllenhaal explains that “there’s a possibility of some sexual interaction, but it’s also, somehow, impossible.”
Well, it comes next to one of the few and limited scenes of exposition, in which Will tells Leda about the people staying with Nina’s family on their vacation. Leda and Will were having a relaxed conversation and were having fun. Will, sort of pokes fun at her, however, in no time, it of course gets relatively exaggerated.
Gyllenhaal points out that these lines were actually cut from the final scene.
Gyllenhaal says that in the scene when Colman, as Leda was seen speaking of and mentioning the age of her children, she was basically making a super awful joke about Will sleeping with the kids. Specifying Will’s mention of the kids and commenting and remarking on Leda’s beauty was yet one of the ways to bring up and speak of sexuality. Gyllenhaal mentioned that it was certainly a very fascinating thing to let out to a lady who is much older in age. He was just stating the fact, that he apparently thinks she is pretty and gorgeous. Further, Olivia herself put in some kind of focus on her upcoming line and said to Will with a witty smile on her face about how smart the man is.
Colman skipped two of the crucial lines, that too, with the director’s complete consent. Gyllenhaal was incredibly amazed and cited that it was a complete pleasure and delight for her to see these terrific performers. She did not even show any sort of surprised or unexpectedly shocked reaction. According to her, if it was effortless for them to omit the sentence and jump off to another one without changing the dynamics of the scene, then, skipping it off was not an issue. Maggie Gyllenhaal explains that she normally dislikes scenes and sites of exposition, but the way the actors performed it this wonderfully was something to appreciate and relish. The director, in fact, said that Olivia might not even have an idea that she cut and skipped that sentence.
The extended conversation, in one way or the other, boosted the sexual friction between the two of them. Leda basically is someone who has the stability to keep everything under her control in her mind. Throughout the dinner, they kept sharing a bottle of wine and discussed a good lot of things over it and, therefore, everything just kept coming out. The whole scene, somehow, tells you about who they are. Gyllenhaal spoke of all these aspects.
To sum it up
The creative and undoubtedly a smart director was earlier nominated for her excellent performance in “Crazy Heart.”
The Lost Daughter has admiringly won a total of four Gotham Awards, USC scripter prize along with this, it has won the Independent Spirit Award as well.
Ferrante, the phenomenal author, sold Maggie Gyllenhaal the rights to adapt the novel for the screen only under one condition, which is, that Gyllenhaal Should be the one to direct the screenplay.
The last film to achieve the best screenplay Award was “Gods and Monsters.”
All in all, ‘The lost daughter’ has the capability to give out a mysteriously chilling experience on the other side of maternity and motherhood, the kind of toll and tension it can actually take on a woman’s body, and whatnot. It is highly appreciative and courteous of Gyllenhaal to take up and go forward with such an issue which is seldom talked about and barely covered in mainstream theater. Jessie Johnson, Ed Harris and Peter Sarsgaard in the supporting roles have also done an amazingly incredible job.