Lost Daughter movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was Lost Daughter filmed?

2021

About Lost Daughter

Lost Daughter is the directorial debut of Academy Award-winning Actor Maggie Gyllenhaal. It is a psychological drama that follows the obsession of a middle-aged professor with a young mother and her daughter. The movie is based on the book 'The Lost Daughter' by acclaimed author Elena Ferrante and delves into the uncomfortable notion of motherhood being a burden and not a gift. The film shooting took place over 28 days and was done quickly to curb the spread of the coronavirus in 2020.

The main character, Leda Caruso (portrayed by Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley), is trying to run away from the uncomfortable relationship she has with both her daughters, Bianca (Robyn Elwell and Ellie James) and Martha (Ellie Blake and Isabella Della-Porta). To avoid the situation, Leda takes a holiday on a Greek island. While on the island, she meets the caretaker, Lyle (Ed Harris), and the beach boy Will (Paul Mescal). As Leda is getting comfortable at the beach, she has a run-in with a boisterous and large Greek American family. With this family, she meets young mother Nina (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter Elena (Athena Martin).

As she gets obsessed with the beautiful Nina and her daughter, Leda starts having flashbacks of all her times as a young mother with two daughters. When introduced to a pregnant lady (part of Nina's family), Leda even says that children are a crushing responsibility. This is the first glimpse that audiences get into Leda's head and how she considers raising children.

Lost Daughter follows the deep dive into Leda's past and present, her choices, how they made her feel, and why she becomes obsessed with Nina and her beautiful baby girl. Leda makes some impulsive choices within the first 20 minutes of the movie, leading to complications and unraveling of relationships as the film progresses.

City Locations

Spetses, Greece

Location Types

Beach/ Oceanview, Apartment, Cabins, Mediterranean, Nature Scapes

Location Styles

Clubs/ Bars, Diners, Restaurant, Schools, Theaters, Beach House, Boat style, Foreign, Greek, Modern Car

Lost Daughter Locations

The best scenes in Lost Daughter were shot on the gorgeous island of Spetses in Greece. The writer-director Maggie Gyllenhaal had initially planned the filming in New Jersey in the US, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, decided to change the location of the entire film to Greece. Instead of taking time to film the whole movie in bits and pieces, all the scenes were adapted to fit the new script centered around the fictional island of Kyopeli. Doing this should have been a challenge, but surprisingly, the screenplay was adapted with very few changes in the lines.

Instead of having the cast and crew in and out of locations, Gyllenhaal decided that the cast and crew would stay together, completely isolated, and finish filming the entire movie in one shot. To ensure zero spread of the coronavirus, additional precautions were taken, and the filming was over within a month. Even the shots of young Leda with her daughters in the mountains were shot on the island, but with a green screen to add authenticity.

The backdrop of the island, the pubs, bars, eateries, and the scenes fit so perfectly with the original places in the book that many fans couldn't make out the difference in the settings. This excellent work shows remarkable insight into choosing the perfect filming locations.

Fun fact:

Lost Daughter won several prestigious awards, including Golden Osella for Best Screenplay at the Venice International Film Festival, Best Feature at Gotham Independent Film Awards, and Top 10 Films of 2021 at the New York Film Critics Online, among many others.

Leda meets caretaker and sees pretty apartment scene in Lost Daughter

Anargyrou Coastal Road, Spetses

In one of the starting scenes in the movie, Leda Caruso (Olivia Colman) meets the caretaker Lyle (portrayed by Ed Harris) as she gets down from her car. The caretaker introduces himself as Lyle and welcomes her, asking, "Was the drive alright? Must've been backed up on the National Road after Corinth." Hearing this, Leda asks him, "Have you been waiting a long time?" She feels terrible that Lyle was kept waiting because she got delayed due to a late start.

He escorts her with the initial bags to the apartment door, hands over the keys, and says, "Make yourself at home. I'll be back with the other ones." He shows her around the apartment, turns on the air conditioning in the bedroom, lets her know about her breakfast at the bar, and tells her the lighthouse and foghorn are not regular occurrences.

The Lost Daughter production team thought it best to rent a local home and make it look like the room in the hotel where Leda stays during her holiday. This home is located on the Anejiru Coastal Road and is a privately-owned residence, not listed on any holiday home sites. Tourists can click pictures of the place from the road below but not visit the apartment. From the main town center of Spetses, getting to Anagirou is a 12 mins walk.

Leda encounters Will at the beach scene in Lost Daughter

Paralia Zogeria, Spetses, Greece

In this scene, Leda Caruso (portrayed by Olivia Colman) goes swimming in the sea, relaxes and floats around, and then finally heads back to the beach to lounge on a beach chair. She is writing something in her journal when she is approached by Will (portrayed by Paul Mescal), who interrupts her writing and asks her, "Excuse me, do you need some help?"

Leda looks around, wondering if the young man is speaking to her, and is a bit dazed and confused. Will looks at her and says, "It's just that you're in the sun. I could move your chair if you'd like." Leda, still slightly confused, looks at her chair and says, "Oh yea, I am in the sun." So Will again asks, "Can I move your chair under the umbrella?" To which finally, Leda replies, "Yeah."

This Lost Daughter film scene was shot at the beautiful Paralia Zogeria, which means Zogeria Beach (paralia is a beach in Greek). This stunning beach is located in the north-western part of the Greek island of Spetses. The beach is part of a natural cove surrounded by pine trees, with a small restaurant serving more than ice pops and espressos. To get here from the main town of Spetses, you will have to drive via the Evaggelistrias straight to Paralia Zogeria. The road is extremely winding and curvy, so it is best to hire an all-terrain vehicle. You can also get there via the sea taxi, which will drop you off straight at the beach.

Young Leda is trying to raise her daughter alone scene in Lost Daughter

Anargyreos & Korgialeneios School of Spetses

In this scene, young Leda (portrayed by Jessie Buckley) is playing with her daughter, young Bianca (portrayed by Robyn Elwell), while young Martha (portrayed by Ellie Blake) is inside. Leda gives Bianca a gift and says, "Open your eyes. This is Mama's doll when she was a little girl. Her name is Mina." Bianca asks Leda, "Mummy? Can I have a cuddle?" Leda responds, chuckling, "Of course, you can have a cuddle."

This scene is significant in the development of the movie plot since this is the first-time young Leda is shown raising her daughter alone (without help or assistance). She is shown to reminisce a lot about her daughters throughout the film and is particularly distressed whenever she remembers the time with the doll.

While the scene with young Leda should be in Boston, this filming location of Lost Daughter is one of the rooms at the Anargyreos & Korgialeneios School of Spetses. Located at the island's northern end, you can drive or walk to the school since the route is quite pretty and green. You can drive or walk via the Evaggelistrias and turn left (there is only one signboard).

Leda and Will have dinner at restaurant scene in Lost Daughter

Bouboulina, Dapia, Spetses

In this scene, Will and Leda run into each other (quite randomly) while Leda is roaming around the town. They make small talk about the storm that wet plenty of Will's books and overturned umbrellas and how everyone ran into the café and the little girl, Elena, wouldn't stop crying because she lost her doll. While chatting, Leda invites Will to dinner at a nearby restaurant. This impromptu invite is relatively new for Leda.

At the restaurant, Will and Leda are laughing riotously, and Will even has tears in his eyes as he says, "That was so funny! Vassili is Callie's husband." Leda looks shocked and says, "Oh, I thought he was married to the older, heavyset woman." Will says, "Oh come on, she's fat." Leda gasps, and Will instantly responds, "No, but that's Callie's aunt, I think." As they talk, Leda keeps getting information out of Will about Nina's (Dakota Johnson's) family and relations.

This is one of the few light and funny scenes in Lost Daughter. The restaurant where Leda and Will have dinner is the Bouboulina in the Dapia port of Spetses. If you're living in the central part of Spetses, it's a short walk to the restaurant via Thermisioti. However, you can also rent a bicycle and stretch your legs a little.

Leda sings and dances with Lyle at the resto-club scene in Lost Daughter

Bikini Bar, Palio Limani, Spetses

While Leda is out in the town, she starts walking while eating a burger. As she walks along, she hears lively music from an establishment. Leda walks in and starts smiling as she sees people dancing and laughing. She continues looking around and sees Lyle also dancing at one side. She stands at the side and watches everyone have fun.

Suddenly Lyle sees her standing at the side and reaches out to her, saying, "Here, you can leave your bag here." He takes her out on the dance floor, spins her around, and dances with her. As the music changes, Leda squeals, "Oh, I love this song!" It's Livin on a Prayer by Bon Jovi, and Leda starts singing along to the lyrics as she and Lyle keep dancing. Leda gets lost in her own world as she tries to match the song's lyrics and thinks it's karaoke night while swaying from side to side.

This Lost Daughter filming location is the uber chic and famous Bikini Bar in the east of the island. It is open to tourists and locals and is renowned for its cocktails and music. It's pretty easy getting here. If you're in Spetses, simply turn onto Epar.Od. Spetson-Anargiron, and then towards Chatzianargirou. You will reach it within 5 minutes.

Leda goes to watch a movie scene in Lost Daughter

Cine Titania, Spetses

At the start of this scene, Leda is shown to be sitting in an open theater with tables, chairs, glasses, and a drink in front of her. There is a film going on, and Leda is engrossed in the movie when there is a commotion from behind. The doors to the theater are slammed open, and a group of drunk, rowdy teenagers storm in while creating a ruckus. Leda looks hugely annoyed with the interruption to the movie, and the teenagers continue making noise while pulling out their chairs, drunkenly laughing, and talking loudly with each other.

As the movie continues, the group starts passing rude comments and snide remarks about the film. Their constant interruptions cause a hassle to everyone in the theater. Leda gets upset and sternly says, "Hey! If you can't control yourselves, I'm going to have to call the usher." The teenagers make fun of her, start abusing her, and she gets up and walks off.

Out of all the Lost Daughter locations, this scene is the only one shot in a theater. The theater is Cine Titania in the heart of Spetses. It was built in 1960 and is an extremely popular landmark made in period style. Visitors can book tickets in advance to see movies on a digital projector. To get to Cine Titania, take a turn onto Mpotasi from Evaggelistrias and take the first turn. The theater is a few minutes' walk from this turn.

Conclusion

Lost Daughter treads where no other movie ever has before. It shook the world with its notion that women can feel tremendous internal conflict when they become mothers. It showed the world the uncomfortable reality that not all mothers consider having children a boon. The Lost Daughter production team did a fabulous job dealing with this raw, taboo topic through a daring movie that makes audiences halt and think about the implications of motherhood and the lifelong stress and emotions women face.

The three main female characters did a fantastic job, and the filming locations, the intensity of the scenes, the screenplay, and the relationships are shown beautifully in a haunting yet mesmerizing manner. The other actors have done a stellar job, with Maggie Gyllenhaal outshining her peers.

The picturization, script adaptation, and raw takes on immense emotions brought the whole movie together flawlessly. The book and the movie are complementary to each other and can be read and watched in tandem for a wholesome experience.