This Week’s Highlights and Low Lights and a Contrarian review of “The Lost Daughter”

First of all a cautionary note: I rely a lot on Rotten Tomatoes before deciding to watch a film or not. Typically I pretty much skim and look at the critics I respect. Today I read the full New Yorker review which got a red tomato (meaning thumbs up) on Rotten. Turns out Richard Brody didn’t really like it all. Likewise additional negative or meh input from a few friends. I stand by my assessment as “fabulous” but now I’m thinking that having read the book, I filled in the gaps Brody and others, not having the benefit of reading the book, found annoying. The shift in setting from Naples to Greece which I agree was a really bad decision ) does neglect a major theme. In retrospect I can see where many might wonder why Leda is so angst-ridden. Her resentment of her children’s demands goes beyond just being tired of being on call (e.g. when she refuses to kiss her child’s injured finger). Ferrante’s Leda is a woman damaged by her own bad mother. And the film does not provide that perspective.

In reverse, based on the NYT’s recommendation and rave reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, I watched Bergman Island. I’m bewildered. Loved the beauty of Faro,Bergman’s home and enjoyed the ironic commentary on the Bergman tourism trade but did not really like the film in totality. But before I go on and on, please write in your thoughts about the film.

Recommended: Anxious People, a six episode series based on the book by Fredrik Backman, the Swedish author who wrote A Man Called Ove. Like the book it is amusing and sweet without being saccharine. Each episode is around thirty minutes.


  1. I haven’t read Brody’s review yet but certainly agree with what you are saying. Having not read the book, I felt, as several friends who saw it also commented, as if I was missing something. The back ground of Leda and importantly the setting with the sinister ‘gangsters’ lurking about….didn’t quite fit together. XO

    Alice Levine, CNM Cell 805.452.8681 Fax 805.272.9184



  2. I didn’t read that particular Ferrante book, but I knew it was a raw and brutally honest take on motherhood (and marriage)..which I think is her specialty, But a damaged mother in Leda’s backstory would have been essential to understand the level of guilt and conflict; and having read all four of the books that make up My Brilliant Friend, I truly don’t understand why they set this in Greece. That said, I still found it pretty riveting and Colman never disappoints

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Interesting. Although knowing her background as a child would have given Leda’s story more layers and depth, I thought her struggle between being an academic and a “good” mother as sufficient cause for her actions, particularly withholding affection at times. Good god, it is hard to raise children and excel in a career.


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