The Lost Girls (2022) 

Wendy, who carries her grand-mother’s name, is poised to receive a visit from a teen boy who she has been long told stories of. The women in her family all receive this visit and the temptation to leave forever.  

Based on the novel by Laurie Fox, written and directed by Livia De Paolis, this take on the Peter Pan story leaves a lot to be desired. While the book can’t be judged here as it was not read, the film itself feels like something is constantly missing as the story moves along. The lead here, Wendy, feels like someone the viewer would not want to spend any time with, yet she is the center of everything, so they better get used to her and start finding some qualities to her or they will disconnect from the story fast. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens here, a total disconnection from the story and from the character. As this widens with the lead becoming less interesting, the film loses more and more the interest of the viewer. This seems to be due to a mix of just about everything here, from the script, to the direction, to some of the acting.  

In the lead of Wendy is writer/director Livia De Paolis and unfortunately, she is bland. Her performance is just not it. It’s not a performance that brings the viewer in, the work done here feels like is not on the right note. The character, due to the mix mentioned above, comes off as someone no one would want to spend time with, which is even shown in the film when her daughter wants nothing to do with her. This is the kind of gamble that can work in some films, risking having an unlikable lead, but here it does not work. The family around her is a bit better, with Ella-Rae Smith as Berry gives her character and the family something to fall back on emotion-wise. She gives a good performance here. The best performance of bunch has to go to Great Nana played by Vanessa Redgrave. Her presence is fantastic and saves a few scenes here and there.  

While the story, directing, and performances in general are not on point, the film looks great. The cinematography Anna Patarakina is very pretty to look at, it gives the right scenes a dreamy look and others a bit of harder look. Her work here is really good and helps the viewer watch the film all the way through. The looks of the film, especially in the Pan sequences, is very pretty, dreamlike, and made to fall into. This works for the film quite well, but it’s not quite enough to save it. 

The Lost Girls is a film that comes off as missing something at every single turn. The story, directing, and a good part of the acting are just not on point and even make it difficult to stick around through the entire film. The cinematography is very pretty and the performance by Vanessa Redgrave helps keep the film from being a complete loss.