NYAD - Review (London Film Festival 2023)
What is It You Plan to Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life? 3.5 / 5
Directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin.
The remarkable true story of athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, commits to achieving her life-long dream: a 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida.
Covering the inspiring story of Diana Nyad and her attempts to swim the 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida, Annette Benning gives a rousing performance as the titular Nyad in this real-life underdog story.
Directed by the Free Solo team of Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, this film combines visceral underwater photography with archive footage of the real Diana Nyad and corresponding news footage to ground this story with a level of reality blending the lines between fiction and documentary.
Jodie Foster brings a solid supporting performance as Nyad's best friend and closest supporter which helps to ground this story and communicate the risks involved that might otherwise get caught up in blind enthusiasm.
It hits all of the expected beats of an underdog tale, overflowing with determination and drive that not only inspires possibility but is a shining example of how age shouldn't be a barrier to your ambitions.