#TIFF23: “NYAD” REVIEW
By Mr. Will Wong
In many ways, Annette Bening‘s long overdue recognition mirrors that of the subject she plays, Diana Nyad in NYAD. In 2013, after multiple failed attempts, she became the first person ever to swim from Cuba to Key West, without a cage to protect her from sharks. And Diana did this at the age of 64 above this.
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin co-direct this Biopic which recounts Diana‘s painstaking journey to overcome the odds, and also her relationships with those around her who helped make it happen. We meet her best friend and trainer Bonnie (Jodie Foster) and navigator John (Rhys Ifans) who also are pushed to the limits, putting aside their lives to help Diana accomplish her impossible goal.
Cinematography by Claudio Miranda is magnificent, capturing the hypnotic beauty and also deadly dangers of the waters on which Diana and crew must tread to reach their destination. This, paired with a Soundtrack that is deeply personal to her, helping immerse us into our subject’s world, told both through flashbacks and in linear fashion in the timeframe Diana decides to embark her journey once again. The Film explores the price of ambition and the trickle effects of this
NYAD is immensely uplifting and perhaps the Movie that many of us need right now. Bening has never been better and is so convincing, nailing the physicality, vulnerability and strength that define Diana Nyad. Foster‘s Bonnie is that one BFF we all need in our lives, turning in a performance that feels truly lived-in. A Film made with its sights set on Awards Season glory and it very likely will get there.
NYAD screens at TIFF ’23:
Thursday, September 14
Visa Screening Room at the Princess of Wales Theatre
Saturday, September 16
TIFF Bell Lightbox