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Food in Film


The Lost Daughter is a 2021 psychological drama written and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal. In the film, Leda, a college professor played by Olivia Colman, confronts her unsettling past after meeting a woman and her young daughter while on vacation in Italy. Her obsession with the woman and her daughter prompts memories of her early motherhood. Here, we include a quote from Maggie Gyllenhaal offering more insight into how food played a role in her thought process as she developed the multifaceted female characters for her film.

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"I was thinking about food in some ways in terms of desire and hunger, versus deprivation. So like even that scene with Callie, the pregnant sister in law, when she offers her the cake—who eats cake and who doesn’t, from one woman’s hand to another, and Olivia takes a bite, at least the way she played it in that take, I feel like, it actually was delicious, and really something she was trying not to eat, but wanted to eat."

"Hunger as an idea, especially for women I think. Often we’re told that our appetites are too big, you know for what it is we want, what it is we need, even amount of rage, the amount of confusion, the amount of need, the amount of love, the amount of desire, like it’s too much.

- Maggie Gyllenhaal talking about The Lost Daughter

with Ruthie Rogers on the River Café Table 4 

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