Netflix: Olivia Coleman Surpasses All in “Woman in the Dark”

Olivia Coleman surpasses all in “Woman in the Dark”

Olivia Coleman as Professor Leda in the play “Woman in the Dark”. Photo: Yannis Dracoulidis / Netflix © 2021 / DPA

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Based on a book by Elena Ferrante, Maggie Gillenhall’s subtle psycho-drama “Woman in the Dark” is a must-see for movie lovers and Olivia Coleman fans at the beginning of the year.

Regardless of the series “Flybag”, “The Crown” or “The Lobster” or “The Father”: British Oscar winner Olivia Coleman (“The Favorite – Intrig and Insanity”) has always been one of her acting skills. Epiphany.

She can now be seen on Netflix (since December 31) as a professor going through a mental crisis during her summer vacation in Greece.

“Fro Im Dunkeln” (original film title: “The Lost Daughter”) is the title of a film adaptation of Maggie Gillenhall’s Elena Ferran. The film joins Charlotte Rampling in dark summer films like Francois Ozone’s “Swimming Pool”.

Cracks in the perfect vacation setting

Leda Caruso, a British man living in the USA, travels alone as a professor of Italian literature and has rented an apartment on the Greek island of Spetses to relax with some work. The 48-year-old is flying not only with Will (Paul M‌squez), a handsome student from Ireland who works at a beach bar, but also to Lyle (Ed Harris), the caretaker of her holiday home.

Everything may be pretty, but there’s something wrong with the surface. Corresponding to this, the beautifully wrapped fruit in your apartment bowl will rot from the bottom, lying on a large, loud cicada pillow that is disgusting at night.

The arrival of a Greco-American family who are uncomfortably obscene and threatening brings unrest to the beach, and Leda likes to sit there and think. Leda notices the charming Nina (Dakota Johnson) from this family. She has a lot to do with her annoying little daughter. Leda seems to identify herself with the excessive demands of her mother’s role. In the following, the professor becomes depressed, caring but meaningless.

Sensitive play from a women’s perspective

The movie jumping back and forth in flashbacks (Jesse Buckley plays the younger Leda) gradually reveals what Leda and her daughters were and are. The psychogram of a woman in her late forties is remarkably designed so that they struggle with the roles and behaviors intended for her and then become frustrated.

“Woman in the Dark” is a sensitive work from a women’s perspective, in which men play a major role. The women’s play makes her directorial debut as actress Maggie Gillenhall (44, “Crazy Heart”, “The Dark Knight”), who portrays her husband Peter Sarsgaurd as Leda’s fascinating professor and seducer.

At the Venice Festival 2021 Gillenhall won the award for Best Screenplay (Premio per la Migliore Singiatura). The two-hour film is an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Elena Fernandez, published in 2006. In the original Italian novel – “La figlia oscura” – Leda is an English professor in Florence, and is on vacation on the Calabrian coast, where a family arrives from Naples.


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