The end of the lost daughter explained

Now on Netflix The lost daughter follows a university professor named Leda who, while on vacation, meets a young mother. Their interaction, and Leda’s obsession, forces her to relive her own past, her mistakes and triumphs, as a mother.

With Olivia Colman at the helm and Jessie Buckley playing a young Leda, we learn Leda’s story through simultaneous flashbacks. The effect is that the film comes together at once, a synergistic and epiphanic visual experience.

The movie wowed us, we gave it five stars and named it one of the best movies of 2021. For some, however, the non-linear storytelling can be difficult to follow.


While one solution to any confusion would be to read the Elena Ferrante novel on which Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut is based, the other option is to keep reading as we dig deeper. chronologically in what happened to Leda on that fateful trip. Warning: The lost daughter spoilers follow.

The movie itself begins with the ending: Leda driving at night, perhaps drunk, down the winding roads before stopping; she goes out, walks on the beach and then collapses. But Leda’s story itself really begins when she was a young mother of two in New York City (played by Jessie Buckley).

Leda studies translation and comparative literature, and her husband Joe (Jack Farthing) is equally involved in academia but as a scientist, and the two live in a small New York apartment with their two daughters. Most of the childcare falls to Leda, despite her attempts to break through in her career. We watch as they struggle to find balance within their relationship, which comes to a head as they stay at Professor Joe’s house on vacation and host a European backpacker couple.

Jack Farthing as Joe the Lost Daughter


The couple reveal that the man left behind his own children and former partner to embrace a new life, one that made him come true and the conversation clearly hits a note with Leda. When the couple leaves, the woman asks Leda to give her some of her work to read, and Leda is obviously moved.

Finally, she is invited to attend a conference in London and makes the difficult decision to go, leaving her children not only with their father but also with a nanny.

While in London, her translation work is praised by another very popular scholar, Professor Hardy (Peter Sarsgaard) and at dinner he invites her to his table and the two of them go on an adventure. He returns to New York City and works, but continues the adventure with Hardy.

The Lost Daughter, Peter Sarsgaard as Professor Hardy


Leda travels more and, although the adventure finally ends, it has become clear that she is ready to leave her life. She comes home to give her daughters gifts and Joe begs her not to end their marriage, threatening that if she leaves, he will take them back to England to stay with Leda’s mother.

Outraged, Leda chides Joe for threatening to take his daughters back to England, but still doesn’t stay. Her daughters ask her to make a snake, referring to when Leda peels an orange at once; she does, and as they are distracted by the shell she leaves.

The current Leda (Colman) arrives on vacation in Greece and finds Lyle (Ed Harris) waiting to let her into the cabin he manages. He spends his first day at the beach, but then a family shows up, including young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her pregnant sister-in-law Callie (Dagmara Domińczyk).

Jessie Buckley as Young Leda, The Lost Daughter


Leda becomes obsessed with seeing them, and as more family members arrive, Callie asks Leda to move the chairs; Leda refuses, creating a tense confrontation with the Calista family. Later in the evening, Callie apologizes and offers Leda cake as a token of peace.

Leda invites Will (Paul Mescal), a young Dubliner who works in Greece for the summer, to dinner, and the two bond. He warns her not to pressure the Callista family.

The next day, on the beach, Nina’s little daughter, Elena, disappears, and Leda is the one who finds her and reunites her with her family, but Elena is upset because her doll is missing, a doll that reminds Leda of the one that had in the past. Later, Leda finds the doll but takes it home.

Olivia Colman as Leda, Dakota Johnson as Nina, The Lost Daughter


After an awkward and somewhat flirtatious encounter with Lyle, he brings her an octopus and cooks it for her. They have a tense conversation about their children and former spouses; Lyle sees the doll but says nothing.

Around town, Nina has placed flyers for the missing doll that Leda sees as she heads to the beach. She meets Callie there and the two have a tense conversation in which Callie accuses Leda of doing something, though she can’t be sure what.

After having cleaned the doll, Leda takes her to the house where the Callistas are staying, but when she gets closer she sees Nina and Will surreptitiously kissing out of sight of Nina’s husband, Toni (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) and has doubts about the return of the doll. . She rushes, but Toni is leaning against a car and they have a confrontation only for Leda to realize that it is not her car that is waiting, and she awkwardly runs away.

panos koronis as vasili, oliver jacksoncohen as toni, the lost daughter


Leda goes to a cinema where a group of boys are loud and disrespectful, and although she tries to make them shut up, they make fun of her, but finally the patriarch Calista Vasili intervenes to silence them. Nervous about the encounter, Leda leaves the cinema.

The next day he meets Nina at the market, and they have a surprisingly frank conversation in which Nina confesses her affair with Will and Leda reveals that she left her family when her daughters were six and four years old. Nina, however, does not judge her, but the conversation is interrupted when Toni suddenly arrives.

Another night, Leda goes out and sees a crowd gathered to dance. Lyle is there and he asks her to dance, tells her to drop her bag with an older Greek and they dance, and Leda starts to loosen up, really having fun.

olivia colman as leda, ed harris as lyle, the lost daughter


However, Toni and the Calista family arrive and Lyle stops dancing and tells Leda to leave; the atmosphere becomes tense and hostile, so she takes her bags and leaves, but when leaving she is surprised by Will, who asks if he and Nina can use it. your apartment to meet in secret. Leda asks to speak to Nina instead.

Nina arrives a day earlier than agreed and she and Leda have another candid conversation about motherhood; Nina confesses to having ‘depression or something’ and Leda tells her that the feeling will never pass. Leda then pulls out the doll and tells Nina that she ‘took it’ before saying “I am an unnatural mother.”

Scared, Nina stabs Leda with the hatpin they had bought together that day at the market, before calling her a crazy bitch and leaving with the doll. Leda, seeing blood where the pin punctured her skin, finally falls asleep on the couch.

olivia colman as leda, the lost daughter


When he wakes up, he moves cautiously, packs up his suitcases and throws them down the stairs. He gets in his car and drives, the scene we see at the beginning of the movie, driving, crashing the car, going for a walk on the beach and passing out in the sand.

He wakes up in the morning and sits on the beach for a while before his phone rings. They are his daughters, who are desperate for not having heard from their mother in a long time.

The final scene of the script reads: “In Leda while her daughters are talking on the other end of the phone. Bubbling, laughing, needing things, explaining things … While listening, Leda puts her fingers to the wound.”

“She looks at the blood that she leaves on her fingers. She opens her hand and an orange magically appears on her palm. With bloody fingers, listening to her daughters speak, she sits on the sand and peels the orange. In a long piece, like a snake “.

The lost daughter is available to watch now on Netflix.

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