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Lost Girls review – well-intentioned but plodding Netflix true crime drama - MW

Released at the end of the year for the Sund Sundance film festival to endlessly cheer, the serious reality series Lost Girls quickly made it less than two months later for its legal home: Netflix. As the foundation increasingly tends to prove that it can, or at least try to do it all, one of its most popular genres is real crime, as evidenced by everything from Making. a murderer until the recent success The Essays of Gabriel Fernandez, appeals to an endless desire, morally suspect, openly of violence, tragedy and, sometimes, justice.

Her production in this area can often seem exploitative, not a word depicting Lost Girls, a film that is composed in a sensitive but frustrating manner based on an unsolved murder case. from the so-called Long Island serial killer, written by successful journalist Robert Kolker. Police believe he killed 10 to 16 people over 20 years, but the film returns with a missing young woman, and her search leads to the discovery of four other bodies. It tells a story of justified outrage, police incompetence and the inability of competent men to listen and believe in the voices of women. Husband Gilbert (Amy Ryan) is a struggling mother at the border, doing two jobs trying to support her two daughters. A third, his larger Shannan, living elsewhere with Mari, reluctantly asked him for financial support anytime and anywhere. The exact location where Shannan took his money was not disclosed but known to Mari, a family secret discovered when Shannan disappeared.

As a prostitute who found her clients on Craigslist (the killer also known as the murderer of Craigslist), Shannan was quickly ignored by the police or at least by the police, who judged her widely. and the moral that the media also made at the time. Not wanting to let his daughter disappear in the news, Mari reunited with the families of the women who could be found and began to piece the pieces together. Back with or without the help of the police.

Lost Girls is the first narrative feature of the documentary Liz Garbus, whose previous topics covered everything from Nina Simone to the Holocaust, and throughout the film, she struggles to find the right balance between naturalism and is muted and the Hollywood formula pushes a button. The admirable restraint in certain scenes is followed by stereotypes in others and while certain actors return, others lean in the tropics, like Lola Kirke in prostitute animation and 30 Rock Mitch Dean Winters like a clumsy cop. Ryan is also unmodified, sometimes reliably rude, and then annoyed by others. It is a pleasure to see her spend so much time on the screen but it is not a deep cut as it should be, our emotional attachment to the devastation unfolding at a good level. most.

Garbus and screenwriter Michael Werwie embed the film with a timely anger, showing us an all-too-familiar culture of victim-shaming and unfairly attributed blame, all at the feet of women. There’s also an undercurrent of respect afforded to those working in the sex industry who too often get labelled on and off screen and the film is never less than well-intentioned but intentions only get us so far. As sincere and as sensitive as the film might be, it’s never as involving or as effective as the story at its centre. One of the most shocking details is revealed in a text coda which thrusts a poorly developed subplot to the forefront, one of many strands and character dynamics that don’t get enough time or depth. At 95 minutes, Lost Girls is sorely lacking and, ironically, one wonders what a Garbus docuseries could have found instead.


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