Annette Bening Leads Disappointing Biopic With Moments Of Greatness


  • Nyad, the primary function movie from administrators Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, is an inspiring story of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida, but it surely lacks depth as a story function.
  • The movie focuses closely on Nyad’s swimming achievements, neglecting different facets of her life, aside from her friendship with Bonnie Stoll. The screenplay lacks depth and fails to discover Nyad’s character absolutely.
  • Regardless of its shortcomings, Nyad advantages from a robust forged, with Annette Bening delivering a tenacious efficiency. The movie’s finest moments lie within the relationship between Nyad and Bonnie, including depth and grounding the story.



Nyad tells the unimaginable story of Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida. It’s the primary function movie from administrators Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the crew behind Free Solo and The Rescue. As such, Nyad may be very a lot a transitional movie for the duo. It has numerous nice, empowering moments, but it surely may need labored higher as a documentary. As a story function, Julia Cox’s screenplay doesn’t have a lot depth. It’s so hyper targeted on Diana Nyad’s swimming achievements that it neglects the remainder of her life save for her lovely friendship with Bonnie Stoll. The biopic has its moments, definitely, and it’s stronger due to a wonderful forged, but it surely might have been higher had it dived past the floor.

After trying and failing to swim from Cuba to Florida at 28 years previous, Diana Nyad (Annette Bening) decides to attempt the 100-mile swim once more a long time later. In 2010, and at 61 years previous, Diana determined to attempt the swim once more. With the assistance of her pricey good friend Bonnie Stoll (Jodie Foster) and John Bartlett (Rhys Ifans), the captain of the boat that accompanied Diana alongside her journey, Diana makes an attempt to do one thing nobody’s ever achieved earlier than. After a number of failed makes an attempt, Diana and her crew lose hope, however Nyad is set to do what she’s at all times dreamed of doing irrespective of how lengthy it takes.

Annette Bening and Jodie Foster in Nyad

Nyad has rather a lot going for it — an incredible, dedicated forged, an uplifting story fueled by willpower, and fairly a number of beautiful pictures of Diana within the water. Past the floor, there’s numerous coronary heart, however the biopic by no means reaches its full potential. Its story is okay, however devoid of dimension, compressing Nyad’s life to a singular focus. And whereas the filmmakers spotlight a stunning story about by no means giving up, I discovered myself strolling away from the movie having discovered little or no about Nyad herself. There are glimpses to previous traumas (sexual assault that’s fortunately not proven in full) that designate her present way of thinking, but it surely doesn’t paint a full image.

Nyad is outlined solely by what she’s capable of accomplish, and it diminishes a lot of her arc all through the movie. Her willpower and persona defy the shortage of depth due to Annette Bening’s tenacious efficiency. The actress’ portrayal is compelling, and her efficiency elevates the weaker facets of the script. She’s particularly nice when reverse Jodie Foster, whose Bonnie is greater than a member of Nyad’s assist system, however a beloved good friend who’s equally encouraging and sincere in regards to the issues Nyad doesn’t at all times need to hear. Rhys Ifans rounds out a improbable supporting forged, including a contact of skepticism and love.

Nyad movie
Jodie Foster and Rhys Ifans in Nyad

Though Nyad is compelling, watching the titular character swim time and again does develop exhausting after some time. The tediousness is often damaged up by conversations, flashbacks, or arguments, but it surely isn’t sufficient to take care of our full consideration. The movie’s finest moments are sometimes discovered within the dynamic between Nyad and Bonnie, who clearly care very deeply for one another. There’s a stunning spark between them and their relationship helps to floor the movie. Vasarhelyi and Chin’s choice to showcase the weariness and wrestle of Nyad’s swimming makes an attempt are additionally nice. She embodies the aim of selecting your self up and making an attempt once more within the face of adversity. It’s heartwarming and empowering to witness, particularly by the top when Nyad lastly succeeds.

However sure moments and character dynamics are higher than the movie as a complete, which struggles to stay fascinating. Contemplating how fascinating Diana Nyad’s life truly is, it is a disappointment, and Nyad a disservice to its topic. This isn’t to say there aren’t a number of particular moments that elevate the movie — it exhibits its larger potential on multiple event. But it surely strips Nyad of her complexities for one thing a bit too formulaic.

Nyad is now taking part in in choose theaters, and screened as part of the 2023 Middleburg Movie Pageant. The movie will probably be obtainable to stream on Netflix November 3. It’s 121 minutes lengthy and rated PG-13 for thematic materials involving sexual abuse, some sturdy language and temporary partial nudity.

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