Maggie Gyllenhaal recently made her feature directorial debut with Netflix’s drama The Lost Daughter. Fifty Shades actor Dakota Johnson stars in this psychological flick alongside The Crown’s Olivia Colman, Paul Mescal, and Peter Sarsgaard.
Fans and critics alike have found themselves obsessing over Johnson’s portrayal of her character Nina, a young mother struggling with her identity while raising her daughter and being in an unfulfilling marriage. Nina strikes up an unconventional friendship with the movie’s lead, Leda (Colman).
Everybody is gushing over Dakota Johnson
The Lost Daughter made its world premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival back in September 2021. However, it premiered on Netflix on December 31, 2021, reaching a greater audience. The movie is currently streaming in the #3 position in Netflix’s Top 10 in the United States.
In addition, Johnson’s name has been trending on Twitter with over 2,272 tweets, many of which are praising her role in The Lost Daughter. One self-proclaimed film buff reviewed the movie, writing, “With The Lost Daughter, Maggie Gyllenhaal launches into the top tier of filmmakers. What a rich, troubling, and beautiful film this is. Colman, Buckley, and Harris are all award-worthy.” He rounded off his commentary with, “But it’s Dakota Johnson who, for me, almost steals the show with her final scene.”
This appears to be the general consensus as many published reviews are also giving Johnson’s performance a shout-out in their reviews of the acclaimed movie. The Lost Daughter currently sits on Rotten Tomatoes with a 96% approval rate.
Jessica Kiang of Indiewire described Johnson’s portrayal of Nina as one of her best performances. Joshua Alexrod of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette echoed the sentiment in his review. He wrote, “Dakota Johnson may have given her best performance ever as Nina, another mother obviously unsatisfied with her lot in life. Nina mostly seems more pleasant than the rest of her brood, but that cheery demeanor is a front for crippling uncertainty and a penchant for lashing out with only minimal provocation.”
He continued to express, “She [Johnson] and Colman create a fascinating dynamic where Leda sees herself in Nina while the younger woman gains a false impression of who Leda is.”
Johnson opens up on being directed by Gyllenhaal
In a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment, the 32-year-old actor opened up about being directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Despite the movie’s close-up shots of her character’s body and lack of lines, she didn’t feel “objectified.”
Johnson shared, “I didn’t feel like I was being objectified. I think that’s also because our cinematographer, Helene Louvart, is a woman and she operates the camera.” She continued to praise the movie’s artistic shots. She added, “There’s something powerful about that. Even though the point of some of the shots are there’s that girl on the beach, it didn’t feel lecherous. It felt beautiful.”
The Lost Daughter is currently streaming on Netflix.