Just Keep Swimming in “Nyad” Trailer

Annette Bening is 0-for-4 in her quest for an Oscar. In her pursuit of that elusive win, she's taking on the role of a real-life person. She's only done that three times in her decades-long career. This go-round she'll be playing the most physically demanding role of her life. Diana Nyad got a lot of attention for her marathon swims in the late '70s. Lately, she's gotten more attention for her inflammatory comments about transgender athletes. (That likely won't come up in the movie, but could hurt the film's chances in awards races.) The film focuses on Nyad in the 2010s, when she made five attempts to swim from Florida to Cuba.

Bening co-stars with Jodie Foster as her partner and coach. Rhys Ifans plays their navigator. But the film's biggest flex will be its uncommon intensity. It marks the feature debut of documentarians Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. Their films Free Solo and The Rescue are as thrilling and nail-biting as non-fiction films get. However the movie turns out as a whole, expect to feel every battering wave, every chilly plunge and every precious breath in the swimming scenes.

Having already premiered at Telluride and Toronto, the film plays at the BFI London Film Festival next month. Nyad then opens in select theaters on October 20 before arriving on Netflix on November 3.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.