The Lost Daughter

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The Lost Daughter is a 2021 Greek-American drama film about a middle aged woman's beach vacation that gradually takes a dark turn when she begins to confront her troubled past that manifests in clandestine psychopathic behavior.

Directed and written by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
A film by Maggie Gyllenhaal.taglines


  • I'm an unnatural mother.
  • Long time ago, at some point, I considered, only half seriously, considered having implants. But, um, they come from nowhere, so what are they worth?

Young Leda

  • I hate talking to my kids on the phone.

It's Auden. "Chill of the crooked wing falls down along my body". It's ridiculous. It's just something I taught them. "The Crisis". Hmm? An inside joke.

Professor Hardy

  • As Simone Weil says, "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
  • Camus posits that the ontological emptiness of the universe chafes against the intrinsically human desire for metaphysical meaning.
  • Bourdieu's mistake is that he often forgot the first part of his own name.
  • I want to go to bed with you. But it looks like you're married, so... you'll have to start this.
  • Thank God, because whenever one tries to suppress doubt, there is tyranny.


Bianca: [Noticing mother is fixated at window] What are you watching?! Snoggies?!
Young Leda: Oh, my God!
Young Joe: Hikers!
Bianca: Hikers!
Young Joe: Hikers! Stay there! They must be doing the Catamount Trail!
Martha: Hey, what are hikers?
Young Joe: Are you kidding me?! To Quebec! They don't have food!
Young Leda: Joe, it's not 1985! What's wrong with you?!
Young Joe: They're wet!
Young Leda: Joe, don't bring them in here!

[The hiker couple is seated in Joe and Leda's kitchen with Martha bringing coffee to them]
Young Joe: You guys, uh, look like you've been going a while.
Male Hiker: Yes. Since April. Amazing.
Female Hiker: Grazie. (Thanks)
Young Joe: Can I ask, how old are you?
Male Hiker: Forty-two.
Young Joe: [Chuckles] Oh, my God. Life is so different without kids.
Male Hiker: I have kids. I have three kids. Twelve, nine and seven. They are in London with their mother.
Young Leda: So you ran away together?
Male Hiker: I guess we did.
Female Hiker: Yes, we did. Hmm. We are obliged to do so many stupid things. From childhood, even.
Young Leda: Obliged?
Female Hiker: Yes. What happened to us is the only thing that's happened to me since I was born that makes sense.
Young Leda and Female Hiker: [Singing in Italian] E prima di uscire (and before going out) da questa santa porta (from this holy door) proviama un'altra volta (try it another time) su e giu per il (up and down the...) [Leda sustains note] cammin...! (...path) [Female hiker chuckles and clinks glass with Young Leda with Young Joe clapping]
Female Hiker: Brava, brava! (good, good) [Young Leda reaches over to hug the female hiker hug and kisses her] Your Italian is so beautiful!
Young Leda: Oh.
Female Hiker: So feminine!
Young Joe: Leda's the most extraordinary scholar of modern Italian literature.
Young Leda: Jesus, Joe. I studied translation, yeah. And comparative literature.
Female Hiker: What are you working on?
Young Leda: Uh... I'm barely working.
Young Joe: Uh, she's working on a Yeats translation
Male Hiker: Yeats?!
Young Leda: No.
Male Hiker: In Italian? That's... that is like [gestures using Bianca's hands] chocolate on chocolate!
Young Joe: Huh?
Bianca: [Clandestinely] Il gelo dell'ala sorta cade lungo il mio corpo
Female Hiker: Wow. [Bianca plays with female hiker's hair] Wow.
Male Hiker: What is that?
Bianca: Don't know.
Young Leda: It's Auden. "Chill of the crooked wing falls down along my body". It's ridiculous. It's just something I taught them.
Female Hiker: È bello. [Extends hand to Young Leda who embraces it] Brava. Wow. [Chuckles]

Young Joe: [Daughters bring water bottles to hiker couple] Thank you!
Female Hiker and Young Leda: Ciao. [Young Leda embraces Female Hiker's head, kisses her cheek and hugs her]
Female Hiker: [Speaking Italian] Would you give me something of yours to read?
Young Leda: Something of mine?
Female Hiker: Yes, your work.
Young Leda: Yes, of course. How are his daughters doing? Are they okay?
Female Hiker: Not daughters. They're boys.
Young Leda: Hmm.

[Children run past Leda with a girl giving her a flyer]
Boy: Don't give her one!
Girl: Why? [Leda reads flyer to learn it is a missing sign for a doll that is in her possession]

Professor Hardy: [To Leda at a dinner party] I didn't realize you were here. It's really great to meet you.
Young Leda: It's really great to meet you, too.
Professor Hardy: Your work is thrilling. [Shakes her hand]
Young Leda: Thank you.
Professor Hardy: Thrilling. [Walks away to other end of dinner table]
Young Leda: Thank you.
Professor Cole: He is a serious scholar but- it's amazing to see. Amazing.
Young Leda: What is?
Professor Cole: Well... it would be interesting to see his tactics as he renews his pursuit this evening.
Young Leda: Don't cry! No, no, no. I love- I loved the jokes about their names! It made you seem more human.
Professor Hardy: Human? As opposed to what?
Young Leda: As opposed to a god.
Professor Hardy: Ah. Hmm. Your name is very provocative.
Young Leda: You're thinking about the Yeats. Very high-minded. It always brings rape to mind.
Professor Hardy: Jesus.
Young Leda: I bet you know it by heart. In Italian.
Professor Hardy: Ah. Tutto d'un colpo... (all at once) la grand ala... (the grand wing) palpitante... (palpitating) sulla ragazza... (on the girl) uh, mmm... staggering girl.
Young Leda: Sconcertante. (Disconcerting)
Professor Hardy: Si, ragazza. Sconcertante. Mmm.

Nina: I've been following you, for like, ten minutes.
Leda: Yeah, you said, is everything okay?
Nina: What? Yeah? Your number came up on my phone yesterday. You called me?
Leda: I did. Yeah.
Elena: [From stroller] Lady.
Leda: Hey, little one. Are you feeling better?
Elena: She needs her medicine.
Leda: [Leans down] Your doll. Is she sick?
Nina: She's not getting over it. She wants her doll. Shit. It won't stay on.
Leda: Oh, hey. Can I? My grandma used to used hat pins. It won't fall off now. Okay. Hat. [Puts it on Nina's head] All right? Do it where it's comfy. [Inserts pin into hat]
Nina: Since the doll's been missing, she's been, like, actually driving me fucking crazy. I- there's something wrong with her. She's not sleeping. At all. She won't sleep unless I'm in the bed with her. And if I move... I'm really tired. I'm, like, scary tired.
Leda: Mm, I remember.
Nina: I know you saw me with Will. Um... I don't want you to think badly of me.
Leda: I don't think badly of anyone.
Nina: Yeah. Yeah, uh, see, I knew that. As soon as I saw you, I just... I was like; "I wanna be that lady". It didn't mean anything what you saw. Didn't it? No. I don't let it go anywhere. I just... but I'm happy. I'm happy with Elena, with- with everything. I'm... I met my husband so young. And he's fucking crazy about me. And her. He says my breasts are exactly the size of his hand.
Leda: What would he do if he saw you with Will?
Nina: Oh, he'd cut my throat. I don't want to talk about him. I only, have, like five minutes before Callie finishes shopping.
Leda: She doesn't want you to talk to me?
Nina: She doesn't want me to do fucking anything. Who give a fuck? Can I ask you something?
Leda: Sure.
Nina: What happened in the toy store? You were talking about your daughters and then something happened. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Leda: Yeah. I left.
Nina: Oh,
Leda: When the oldest was seven and the youngest was five, I left. I abandoned them and I didn't see them for three years.
Nina: You didn't see your children for three years?
Leda: No.
Nina: Who took care of them?
Leda: Their father and my mum, and then I came back for them.
Nina: What did it feel like without them?
Leda: It felt amazing. Felt like I'd been trying not to explode and then I exploded.
Nina: That doesn't sound amazing.
Leda: Okay. [Nina wipes away Leda's tear] There's Callie and your husband.
Nina: My husband? What the fuck is he doing here? He's not supposed to be here until tomorrow. Fuck. I have to go. [Embraces Leda's head and kisses her on lips]

Young Joe: Hey.
Young Leda: Hi. [Joe kisses her on cheek] Hmm.
Young Joe: What are you doing? Say hello to Mummy. [Guides her head] Martha. Go on. Say hello. It's okay.
Young Leda: Can I get a hug?
Young Joe: Go on.
Young Leda: [Martha runs into Leda's chest] Oh! Mmm.
Martha: Are you home now, Mummy?
Young Leda: I'm home today.
Martha: Can you wash my hair after dinner?
Young Leda: Mm-mmm. I can't stay for dinner, baby. I've got to get on a plane.
Martha: Oh, okay.
Young Leda: But I brought you presents, okay? And fancy dresses. These. Hi. Yours!
Young Leda: You awoke the tickle monster. There's a tickle monster in town. Bianca? Do you want me to help you do up your buttons in the back?
Bianca: No.
Young Leda: Okay. Show me your dress. Oh! So pretty. [Kisses Bianca on lips] Mwah!
Young Joe: [Appears in door] Leda. Can I talk to you?
Young Leda: Sure.
Young Joe: [Gets down on knees] Please. Please. Don't do this. What do you need? Do you need me on my fucking knees? Do you need me to cut my balls off? What do you need? Tell me. Have you got his cock in your mouth? You can't answer me?
Young Leda: Joe, this has nothing to do with that.
Young Joe: Oh, fuck me? Fuck me?
Young Leda: I left him.
Young Joe: You left him? Congratulations, baby. You're an expert now, huh?
Young Leda: I don't see why not?
Young Joe: Do you think I'm a fucking idiot? Huh? Am I an arsehole? [Repeatedly] Please. Come on. They're little fucking girls. How am I supposed to do this?
Young Leda: Joe, I'm feeling dizzy. [Walks off]
Young Joe: I'm taking them to your mum's. I can't handle this.
Young Leda: No you're not.
Young Joe: Yeah.
Young Leda: You're threatening me?! That is revenge! That's fuck... lazy. You bring them back there, and they're going to sink back into that black shithole. All that fucking... SHIT...! that I came from. I do think you're an arsehole. [Walks away]
Young Joe: My mother didn't finish school.
Young Leda: Oh, fucking so what? [Disappears under door drape]

Martha: [Referring to peeling an orange']]Please. Please, can you peel it like a snake?
Young Leda: What?
Martha: Please, can you peel it like a snake? Please?
Bianca: Can you peel it all?
Young Leda: I can.
Bianca: Don't let anything break.
Young Leda: No, I won't let anything break.
Martha: Do you think that's a land or a sea monster? A sea snake. Yeah.
Bianca: Don't let it break. Peel it like a snake. Don't let it break.
Martha: That's quite a long one.
Bianca: It's longer than ever. [Leda hands peel to Martha] Hiss. Can it curl itself up? [Martha dangles and jiggles orange peel] Little curly.
Bianca: [Leda is putting on her jacket] Mama, where are you going? Where are you going, Mummy? Mama? Are you coming back? When are you coming back? [Repeatedly] Mama? Where are you going? Mama! [Leda goes out door and shuts it]

Will: [Meets Leda walking in an alley after a party] You know, it was, uh, it was beautiful. The gift you gave Nina. She was really grateful for your kindness.
Leda: Okay.
Will: I have, uh, something to ask you.
Leda: What?
Will: Do you mind if I come up?
Leda: I do, actually.
Will: Okay. Um... Nina was wondering if you would be willing to lend us your place for a few hours.
Leda: Would you tell Nina I'd like to talk to her?
Will: When?
Leda: Whenever she wants.
Will: Her husband doesn't leave till Sunday, so till before that, it's impossible.
Leda: Monday's fine.
Will: Are you angry?
Leda: No.
Will: You seem angry.
Leda: No, Will, the caretaker knows Nina and has business with her husband.
Will: Lyle? You just give him €20 and he's not gonna say anything.
Leda: Why are you asking this of me in particular?
Will: Uh... Nina asked me to. [Walks past Leda] All right.

Leda: [Gets woken up on couch by door com and answers] Yes?
Nina: It's Nina.
Leda: [Opens door] Oh, hi.
Nina: Hi.
Leda: I thought you wouldn't come till Monday.
Nina: No.
Leda: Well, give me a second to get dressed.
Nina: Um, no, I- I have, like, literally a minute. I just... uh, I told Callie that I was gonna go and get some nose drops for Elena because she is always in the water. And she can't get rid of her cold, so...
Leda: Have a seat. [They sit on couches]
Nina: It's lovely here.
Leda: Yeah, so do you want the keys?
Nina: If it's alright with you.
Leda: Doesn't have much to do with me.
Nina: It doesn't?
Leda: You told me you were happy with your husband.
Nina: I did.
Leda: Yeah, you told me you were happy with everything.
Nina: I am. I don't know. What do you think?
Leda: I think you should do what you want.
Nina: Where do you live?
Leda: Cambridge, near Boston.
Nina: I'll come see you.
Leda: Well, I will leave you my address. Okay.
Nina: Is this going to pass?
Leda: What?
Nina: [Tearfully] I don't know what to call it. I have depression or something. But it passes?
Leda: Thought you said you were in a hurry.
Nina: I am. If it felt amazing, then why did you go back to your daughters?
Leda: I'm their mother. I went back to them 'cause I missed them. I'm a very selfish person. I need to give you something else too. [Gets up with cramp]
Nina: [Stands up] Are you okay?
Leda: Yeah, it just, um, happens when I stand up too quickly.
Nina: [Leda appears with Elena's doll] What? You found her? [Covers mouth with hands] Where did you find her?
Leda: No, I took her.
Nina: Why?
Leda: I don't know.
Nina: You don't know?
Leda: No.
Nina: But I don't understand. Did you think that the doll- that the doll wasn't good for us?
Leda: I was just playing.
Nina: Playing? We were all... messed up. You saw us.
Leda: I'm an unnatural mother.
Nina: Oh, fuck.
Leda: I'm sorry.
Nina: Fuck! This is fucked! [Snatches doll from Leda and stomps off to front door]
Leda: Oh, Nina! Take the keys!
Nina: I'm leaving tonight! The apartment's gonna be empty till the end of the month!
Leda: Nina, I'm so sorry! You're so young and everything passes!
Nina: None of this pass! You fucking sick cunt! [Impales Leda with the hat needle and stomps off] Better watch your fucking back bitch! [Leda pulls needle out and sits on couch]


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