Archive for the ‘Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’ Category

Your One Wild and Precious Life

Nyad

Directors: Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Cast: Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Rhys Ifans, Luke Cosgrove, Ethan James Romero

Running Time: 2 hours and 1 minute

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Please Note this film is only available on Netflix

Documentary film makers and married couple Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi bring to life the unbelievable true story of long distance swimmer Diana Nyad who attempted to swim from Cuba to Key West in this fascinating docu-drama simply entitled Nyad starring two brilliant actresses. Following its premiere at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, USA, Nyad had a short cinematic run making it eligible for Oscar nominations and then went straight onto the Netflix streaming site.

Five time Oscar nominee Annette Bening (The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids are Alright, Nyad) takes on the role of the determined swimmer Diana Nyad and Two time Oscar winner Jodie Foster (The Accused, The Silence of the Lambs) is her friend and trainer Bonnie Stoll. Diana and Bonnie were once lovers but are now close friends, both understanding each other’s determination and desire.

Diana Nyad is a force to be reckoned with as a motivational speaker, sports journalist and a long distance swimmer, a large than life personality driven by her father’s desire to see her succeed as a sea nymph and haunted by memories of sexual abuse when she was training to be a swimmer in her teenage years.

Annette Bening is astounding in the role of Diana Nyad, a physically demanding performance involving lots of endurance swims and she plays the role perfectly, a screen role completely atypical of her other more glamourous roles in Bugsy opposite her now husband Oscar winner Warren Beatty or Jeremy Irons in Istvan Szabo’s wonderful film Being Julia.

What really sets Nyad apart are the crackling scenes between Bening and Foster, with the latter showing off her unquestionable acting talent. Jodie Foster as the more accommodating Bonnie who grapples to deal with such an engulfing personality as Diana Nyad is absolutely terrific in this film and has rightly been nominated again for Best Supporting Actress for the 2024 Oscars almost 50 years later after her last Best Supporting actress nomination for the electrifying 1976 film Taxi Driver opposite Robert De Niro.

Unlike other sports dramas which are extremely male dominated, this is a fascinating female centred life-affirming biopic which is both uplifting, motivational and serves as an encouraging film about Diana Nyad whose commitment, determination and drive put her swimming efforts to cross from Cuba to Key West in the global sports arena.  Watch out for a great supporting role by Rhy Ifans as the grumpy but knowledgeable sea-weathered captain.

Nyad is worth watching for the superb performances by Annette Bening and Jodie Foster and serves as a reminder that we all only get one wild and precious life, which is valuable and should be cherished.

Shot like a psychedelic documentary but acted with style and grit, Nyad gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and is an interesting sports drama about achievement, courage and dedication. Highly recommended viewing.

Read more about Diana Nyad here –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Nyad

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