It’s rare for two performers to receive Oscar nominations for playing the same character in the same film. So rare, in fact, that prior to this year, the feat had only happened when Kate Winslet was involved. But thanks to “The Lost Daughter” and its 2022 Oscar nominations for Olivia Colman and Jesse Buckley, history was made on Tuesday in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories.
“The Lost Daughter” stars both Colman and Buckley as a woman named Leda Caruso — Colman plays the character in the present day, Buckley handles the flashbacks — whose world is undone by her complicated feelings on motherhood and marriage. Buzz for both performances built for literal months before Tuesday’s Oscar nominations announcement, with Colman landing significant precursor support from the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics Choice Awards, while Buckley was among the nominees at the BAFTA Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, and the Gotham Awards.
Based on the book by Elena Ferrante and adapted for the screen and directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Lost Daughter” is unique in its flashback structure in that neither Buckley nor Colman attempt to fully emulate the other actor’s mannerisms or quirks – but read as the same person nonetheless.
“It’d just be ridiculous to ask an audience to believe rationally that they’re actually the same person,” Gyllenhaal said previously of the approach she took with the two now-Oscar nominees. “So what do you do? I wanted two fully formed, incredible artists whose souls could vibrate with one another.”
For their efforts, both Colman and Buckley are 2022 Oscar nominees – the honor marked Colman’s third nomination in four years (she won Best Actress in 2019 for “The Favourite”) and Buckley’s first-ever nomination. That puts the actresses in the Oscars history books alongside Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, and Gloria Stuart.
In 1998, Winslet was nominated for Best Actress for playing Rose DeWitt Bukater in “Titanic,” while Stuart received a nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for playing the older version of Rose in the same film. Four years later, in 2002, Winslet was a nominee in the Best Supporting Actress category for playing Iris Murdoch in “Iris,” while Dench earned a Best Actress nomination for playing the elder Iris in the true-life drama.
Overall, “The Lost Daughter” landed three nominations; Gyllenhaal was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is now available on Netflix.
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