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Sports Biopic ‘Nyad’ Earns Acclaim After Premiere

The biographical sports drama Nyad garnered critical acclaim after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week. The film has generated a 100% approval rating on the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes

Critics praised the inspirational story of Diane Nyad, the only person to ever swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage, as well as the directorial debut by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin and the performances by actresses Annette Bening and Jodie Foster. 

The movie tells the story of Nyad (played by Bening) who at the age of 60 sets out to successfully complete the 110-mile swim. Supporting her throughout the film is Bonnie Stoll (played by Foster) who helps Nyad as both a friend and coach. 

In the true story, Nyad, an accomplished long-distance swimmer, tried to complete the swim on five separate occasions. Her first attempt was in 1978 when she was 28 years old, but it ended due to weather and other issues. 

The four other attempts occurred between 2011 and 2013. She finally completed the challenge on Aug. 31, 2013, after approximately 53 hours of swimming. She was 64 years old. 

For the film, Annette spent hours training in the pool. Chin, who won an Academy Award for the climbing documentary Free Solo, explained that the stunt team was “blown away” at her performance because she wanted to look “authentic.”

Production of the film began in March 2022, and it premiered at TIFF on Sept. 12. Nyad is scheduled to begin streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 2, 2023. 

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