While we wait out the interminable hiatus between seasons of HBO’s My Brilliant Friend, Maggie Gyllenhaal is giving us sustenance in the form of a different Elena Ferrante project. Today, Netflix released the trailer for The Lost Daughter, Gyllenhaal’s film adaptation of Ferrante’s 2006 novel of that name; it’s the actress’s directorial debut. The film stars Olivia Colman as Leda, a troubled woman on a seemingly idyllic beautiful beach holiday (Paul Mescal plays a cabana boy: idyllic) who finds herself fascinated and haunted by a young mother at the beach, played by Dakota Johnson. We see ominous flashbacks to Leda’s past in which she’s portrayed by Jessie Buckley and her daughters are frankly creepy; “peel it like a snake, don’t let it break,” they chant to an orange, spookily. Colman takes out her emotional state on poor Johnson. “Children are a crushing responsibility,” she tells her on what’s supposed to be a fun vacation. “Happy birthday.”
The Lost Daughter will be released in theaters on December 17 and on Netflix December 31. Between this, White Lotus, and Old, this is the scariest year for cinematic beaches since Jaws.