WITNESS THE INCREDIBLE.
In 2013, long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad (Annette Bening) is in her sixties but determined to do what she couldn’t back in 1978: swim from Havana to Key West. In their dramatic debut, documentary directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi return to a subject they know very well: tremendous achievements by athletes whose mind-set is out of this world. In this case it’s Diana Nyad who’s portrayed here as a fiercely motivated person who’s not easy to love. As we follow her grueling attempts to go through with the mission, flashbacks to her childhood show how a beloved coach abused her, adding another dimension to this woman. At the heart of a handsome film is a moving friendship; both Bening and Jodie Foster are exceptionally good.
2023-U.S. 120 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Andrew Lazar, Teddy Schwarzman. Directed by Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Screenplay: Julia Cox. Book: Diana Nyad (”Find a Way”). Cinematography: Claudio Miranda. Cast: Annette Bening (Diana Nyad), Jodie Foster (Bonnie Stoll), Rhys Ifans (John Bartlett), Karly Rothenberg, Jeena Yi, Luke Cosgrove.
Last word: “Diana made a very smart decision to just let us do our thing. It was very difficult for her, but everyone understood the intention, which was to show a woman in her full complexity. It was really meaningful to us to figure out this balance between honoring the chutzpah that the real Diana Nyad had, and her intelligence, her fierceness, her drive, while also allowing people to get to know her so that ultimately you’re doing the swim with her. It was always the intention of being warts and all.” (Vasarhelyi, The Hollywood Reporter)