Lost Girls tells an important story.
Staring: Amy Ryan, Thomasin McKenzie, Lola Kirke, Oona Laurence, Dean Winters, Miriam Shor, Reed Birney, Kevin Corrigan, and Gabriel Byrne
Directed by: Liz Garbus
A mother’s relentless search for the truth about her daughter’s disappearance drives Lost Girls, a drama based on a real-life unsolved mystery that tries to humanize the victims and shed light on the struggles of their families.
The narrative focuses on Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan), a single mother who works two jobs to raise her daughters Sherre (Thomasin McKenzie) and Sarra (Oona Laurence). When her eldest daughter, Shannan, disappears after being hired as a call girl off Craigslist, Mari is appalled by the law enforcement’s inaction. Dismissed, hung up on, and ignored, Mari continues her attempts to find out what happened to Shannan. Her search not only reveals police incompetence but also brings attention to other murdered young women who worked as prostitutes and became the victims of a suspected, unidentified serial killer.
Lost Girls tells an important tale about victims whose fate did not generate the action it should have because of their profession, as well as the plight of their families who never got the closure they deserved.
It’s a compelling story. The execution isn’t as even or focused as you may wish, but this is clearly a passionate, well-intentioned look at a tragic tale featuring imperfect characters and a strong lead performance by Amy Ryan.
There is no happy, neat ending here, and the lack of answers only serves to highlight the lack of justice for victims whose lifestyles are looked down upon or deemed too high risk.
Its subject may have been better suited for a miniseries that delved deeper into certain aspects and characters, but Lost Girls is still likely to leave you empathetic towards the women at its centre and inspire you to find out more about the heart-breaking mystery that formed the basis of this film.
Rating system: ☆Not on your life ☆ ½ If you really must waste your time ☆☆ Hardly worth the bother ☆☆ ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only ☆☆☆ Good enough for a look see ☆☆☆ ½
Recommended viewing ☆☆☆☆ Don’t miss it ☆☆☆☆ ½ Almost perfect ☆☆☆☆ Perfection