From our Bureau of Insufferably Insensitive Long Distance Swimmers with some assistance from our Bureau of Biopics About Insufferably Insensitive Long Distance Swimmers
You knew this would happen, didn’t you? Of course. But could you imagine that the role of Diana Nyad would be played by Annette Benning and the role of her coach by Jodie Foster?
Naaah. Admit it, you couldn’t guess that a film about this great insult to all Cubans would attract two of Hollywood’s most celebrated leftist actresses. Things of this sort never happen. Right?
And you probably didn’t suspect that the Hollywoodsphere is all atwitter over Benning’s Oscar potential. Right?
Sharks, jellyfish stings, tropical storms, navigation problems, and physical exhaustion are the types of problems that fortunately don’t worry the average person during a normal workday.
But for retired athlete Diana Nyad, these were the challenges she faced during the many attempts she made, in her early sixties, to become the first person to swim a distance of 177 kilometers from Cuba to Florida without using a protective cage.
After attempting the challenge in 1979, since 2011 Nyad has made four more attempts to cross the water, finally achieving her dream in 2013.
Her story has now been adapted to the screen by Netflix, with actress Annette Bening receiving an Oscar nomination for her role as the swimmer, who was supported by her friend and coach Bonnie Stoll.
Diana Nyad spent three decades as a sports broadcaster.
Stoll, played by Jodie Foster in the film, is as much a part of the story as Naiad herself.
She sailed with her best friend, managed the operation and kept the trip on track.
The film, simply titled Nyad, is the feature debut of husband-and-wife directorial duo Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.