There aren’t many contemporary novelists whose work filmmakers are more eager to adapt than Italian author Elena Ferrante. In 1995, her novel Nasty Love was turned into a thriller directed by Mario Martone; The Days of Abandonment was adapted by Roberto Faenza in 2005. And, in 2016, it was announced that her four-part book series The Neapolitan Novels was being taken on by HBO as a 32-part TV show.
The newest addition to Ferrante screen adaptations is The Lost Daughter, based on her 2006 novel of the same name. The film, which is the directorial debut of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, stars Olivia Colman as Leda, a middle-aged woman on vacation who becomes obsessed with a young mother played by Dakota Johnson. Also in the cast is Jessie Buckley as a young Leda, Succession’s Dagmara Dominczyk as Callie, Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy, Normal People’s Paul Mescal as Will, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Toni, Jack Farthing as Joe and Ed Harris as Lyle.
Check out the first trailer here:
Based on the trailer, The Lost Daughter looks like it’s going to be an atmospheric slow-burn that slowly unfurls mystery after mystery. Why is Leda so drawn to this young mother? What happened to her children? These are all things we’re going to just have to wait until December to find out. Until then, bask in the knowledge that another powerhouse performance from Olivia Colman is on its way.
The Lost Daughter will hit Netflix on December 31, but select theaters on December 17—just in time for awards season.