Nyad Parent Guide
Superb acting allows this movie to transcend the cliches that dominate sports movies.
Parent Movie Review
Age can bring serenity or regret for dreams left unfulfilled. In the 1970s, Diana Nyad (Annette Bening) was 28 years old, trying to set a record as the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida. She had to quit due to unfavorable ocean currents, but she never forgot the dream.
The decades have passed and Diana is now 60 years old, haunted by that old failure and determined to try again. With the help of her best friend and coach, Bonnie (Jodie Foster), Diana gets back into shape and starts training for the swim – a feat which has not been achieved since her initial attempt.
This marathon swim is a near impossible task for a swimmer of any age. The course is approximately 103 miles long and estimated to take 60 hours of continuous swimming. And it’s in the open ocean which puts swimmers at the mercy of the wind, currents, sun, and dangerous creatures like sharks and jellyfish. With a dedicated team around her, Diana makes multiple attempts between 2011 and 2013, determined to fulfill what she believes to be her destiny.
I may not be a sports person (I’m an introverted librarian who does jigsaw puzzles for fun!), but I think everyone can appreciate an inspiring story of human determination and strength. Diana’s real-life experience is greatly inspiring, and it’s helped along in the telling by stellar performances from Bening and Foster. The film itself is not groundbreaking in any way, but the writing, acting, and production all come together to create emotional crescendos despite the sports-movie cliches to which the film is inextricably tied.
Swearing is the main content concern here, though most of the expletives fall into the “mild” category, which may keep this film appropriate for some teen audiences. The messages around determination, teamwork, and resilience are powerful, especially considering the ages of the women involved, who are often considered far too old for athletic achievement. I admit I got emotional at the climax of the film, which is a feat for any movie, no less a sports movie. Fans of the genre, or anyone looking for some motivation or Oscar-worthy performances from two of the greatest actors of their generation are sure to enjoy Nyad, as long as you aren’t too squeamish about jellyfish.Directed by Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Starring Jodie Foster, Annette Bening, Rhys Ifans. Running time: 121 minutes. Theatrical release November 3, 2023. Updated November 3, 2023
Watch the trailer for Nyad
Rating & Content Info
Why is Nyad rated PG-13? Nyad is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic material involving sexual abuse, some strong language and brief partial nudity.
Violence: There are moments of peril involving sharks, jellyfish, and exposure.
Sexual Content: There is some thematic content around child sexual abuse. Nothing is directly shown, only implied. A woman’s bare backside is seen briefly during the credits.
Profanity: The script contains a single sexual expletive, around 30 mild and moderate expletives and over 10 uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated November 3, 2023
Nyad Parents' Guide
What are some of the qualities that Diana Nyad has that allowed her to accomplish so much regardless of her age? Could she have done it alone?
For more information about Diana Nyad’s real life achievements, you can follow these links:
Related home video titles:
Championship swimmers and sisters find their aquatic skills indispensable as they follow the dangerous refugee trail from Syria to Germany in Netflix’s moving film The Swimmers.
A young Australian woman sets out to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world in True Spirit.
A teenager’s passion for surfing is checked when she loses an arm to a shark attack. Her attempts to return to the sport are detailed in Soul Surfer.