Releasing Date:- 03 Nov, 2023 (U.S.)
Genre:- Biography, Drama, Sport
Cinema:- Movie (English)
Avg. Users’ Rating:- 3.5/5
IMDb Rating:- 7.3/10
Cast & Crew:-
Director:- Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Actor:- Jodie Foster, Annette Bening, Rhyas Ifans
Nyad Movie Story:-
A gripping episode in the life of Olympian Diana Nyad. At the age of 60, three decades after giving up marathon swimming for a successful career as a sports journalist, Diana becomes obsessed with completing an epic swim that has always escaped her: the 110-mile journey from Cuba to Florida, dubbed the “Mount Everest” of swims. Diana embarks on a spectacular four-year odyssey with her best friend and coach Bonnie Stoll and a dedicated sailing team, determined to be the first person to complete the swim without using a shark cage.
Nyad Movie Review:-
Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin encountered a doozy of a character in Alex Honnold, an erratic, unsupported climber with little regard for his own mortality, in their Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo. The terrible sight of Honnold hanging from the edge of a 900-metre rock was burnt into the minds of everyone who saw it.
The two were able to shoot every tense moment of his record-breaking ascent, the ethics of which were deftly examined in the film, and it transformed an extreme sports documentary into an engrossing, edge-of-your-seat thriller. However, their absence of on-location presence in their follow-up, the Thai cave doc The Rescue, resulted in a drier, less dynamic vibe, an anonymous assemblage of clips conveying a story we all knew all too well. Nyad, their narrative debut, places them in unfamiliar ground, telling the story of another risky venture that they can present to the screen with complete directorial authority and without fear of spilling blood.
Diana Nyad (Annette Bening, vying for her long-awaited and well-deserved maiden Academy Award) is approaching her 60s with reasonable trepidation. She spent much of her youth shattering records and breaking barriers with her long-distance swimming, but her ultimate aim, to swim the 101-mile voyage from Cuba to Florida, will remain a dream unfulfilled. With swirling fears of aging and feelings of mediocrity, she returns to the pool, her first swim in years, and it reawakens that thirst, setting her on a mission that many call impossible, including her best friend Bonnie (Jodie Foster, vying for her third Oscar), who is soon persuaded to not only support but also coach Diane.
Her return to the spotlight, and the record books, is punctuated by bits of real news footage, clips of a younger Nyad, flashbacks to childhood torture, and songs that accompanied her journey. It’s reminiscent of Wild, a moving mosaic that captured Reese Witherspoon on another difficult expedition in 2014, in which director Jean-Marc Vallée found ways to emulate the many sparking sounds and memories that can come to one when the mind is allowed to wander (it remains one of the most effective depictions of what it feels like to be alone and in thought). However, Vasarhelyi and Chin’s flourishes aren’t as well-executed. The flashbacks to the actual Nyad are intrusive and take us out of the film’s reality, while the weak shards of recollection are visually flat and immobile. Despite the many picture-painting elements, the script by TV writer Julia Cox never fully explains why Nyad is so keen to take on such a tremendous endurance test. At moments, it appears like the film is stuck midway between documentary and narrative, the latter possibly chosen due to a lack of footage of the central swim.
Swimming isn’t an easily cinematic activity, and while there are some nice visual touches (Nyad swimming at night with a rope made of red lights is particularly eye-catching), it’s never quite as involving as it should be. The sequences outside of the water are significantly more interesting, allowing Bening to do more than splash around and emphasizing a friendship between two older gay women that we rarely see on TV.
The dialogue between the two, which is refreshingly devoid of romance, as well as the special tension of a supporting character refusing to be taken for granted by the lead, all contribute to more gripping drama.
While a committed Bening gives her everything in a tough, physically demanding part that deserves at least another nomination if not a win, it’s Foster who steals the show with a fine reminder of her easy charisma. We haven’t seen the actor in a decade, and before she makes her True Detective debut (a seemingly ideal marriage of performer and material), Nyad lets her be a real person for a change, a test that few movie stars can pass. The two have the connection of longtime friends, and when they’re on film or off, Nyad is swimmingly good.
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