The biopic has its moments, for sure, and is made stronger by an amazing cast, but it could have been even great if it went deeper than it did.
Annette Nyad BeningSummary of Annette Bening in Nyad
The inspirational tale of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida is told in Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s debut feature film, Nyad, however it falls short as a narrative picture.
The movie mostly concentrates on Nyad’s swimming accomplishments, ignoring everything else in her life—well, aside from her friendship with Bonnie Stoll. The writing is shallow and doesn’t go far enough into Nyad’s character.
Nyad has a good ensemble, and Annette Bening gives a strong performance that makes up for its flaws. The bond between Nyad and Bonnie, which gives the narrative depth and stability, is one of the film’s strongest points.
The amazing tale of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida is recounted by Nyad. The directors of Free Solo and The Rescue, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, are back with their first movie.
Nyad is therefore essentially a transitional movie for the pair. It could have been a better documentary, but it still contains a lot of amazing, inspirational moments. Julia Cox’s screenplay lacks depth as a narrative film.
With the exception of her wonderful connection with Bonnie Stoll, it ignores Diana Nyad’s life outside of her swimming accomplishments because it is so fixated on them. The biopic has its moments, for sure, and is made stronger by an amazing cast, but it could have been even great if it went deeper than it did.
Decades later, Diana Nyad (Annette Bening), after failing in her effort to swim from Cuba to Florida at age 28, sets out to attempt the 100-mile swim once more. Diana, at 61 years old, made the decision to give swimming another go in 2010.
Diana sets out to accomplish something that has never been done before with the aid of her close friend Bonnie Stoll (Jodie Foster) and John Bartlett (Rhys Ifans), the captain of the yacht that traveled with her.
Diana and her team give up after a few fruitless efforts, but Nyad is committed to achieving her goal no matter how long it takes.
NyadJodie Foster and Annette Bening in Nyad
Nyad has a lot going for it, including a strong, dedicated ensemble, an inspirational tale driven by tenacity, and some stunning underwater images of Diana.
Although there is a lot of passion beneath the surface, the biopic never quite lives up to its full promise.
The narrative, while good, lacks depth and simplifies Nyad’s life into one main point. Furthermore, even though the creators showcase a touching tale about never giving up, I felt like I had learned very little about Nyad herself by the time I left the movie.
Although it doesn’t give a whole picture, there are hints of past traumas that explain her current mental state.
Since Nyad’s identity is mostly determined by her accomplishments, her character arc is largely undermined throughout the movie. Thank goodness for Annette Bening’s persistent performance since her charm and tenacity overcome the lack of depth.
The actress gives a powerful performance that strengthens the parts of the screenplay that are weaker.
She excels most when paired with Jodie Foster’s Bonnie, who serves as more than just Nyad’s support system—Bonnie is a cherished friend who is both uplifting and forthright about the things Nyad doesn’t always want to hear. Rhys Ifans adds a dash of affection and skepticism to complete an amazing supporting cast.
Nyad filmRhys Ifans and Jodie Foster in Nyad
Nyad is a captivating story, but it gets old to watch the main character swim over and over again. Arguments, chats, or flashbacks occasionally break up the monotony, but not enough to keep our interest.
The relationship between Nyad and Bonnie, who obviously care passionately for one another, frequently produces some of the best scenes in the movie.
Their friendship serves as the foundation of the movie and there’s a great spark between them. It’s also a brilliant idea for Vasarhelyi and Chin to illustrate how tired and struggling Nyad was when trying to swim.
She is a living example of the need to overcome obstacles by getting back up and trying again. It’s inspiring and uplifting to see, especially when Nyad eventually succeeds toward the end.
However, several scenes and character interactions are superior to the film’s overall weak performance. This is a letdown and an injustice to Diana Nyad’s subject, given how fascinating her life is in real life.
This is not to suggest that the movie doesn’t have any memorable moments that make it better; in fact, it often demonstrates its higher potential. However, it oversimplifies Nyad in favor of something a little too conventional.
Nyad is now shown in a few theaters and will be featured at the Middleburg Film Festival in 2023. On November 3, the movie will be accessible for streaming on Netflix. With a duration of 121 minutes and a rating of PG-13, it features themes of abuse, strong language, and brief moments of partial.