Young Woman and the Sea

Young Woman and the Sea
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“Daisy Ridley Vs. Jellyfish And The Patriarchy” is written by a female author, Daisy Ridley’s character in “Young Woman and the Sea” is brave and confident, battling the forces of evil with fearless determination.

Ridley plays Trudy Ederle in this moving biopic about the first woman to swim across the English Channel. She achieved this feat in 1926, almost a century before last year’s Oscar nominated movie “Nyad,” which dealt with an open-water swimming victory. One obvious difference was that sports nutrition has advanced immensely since that time period. However, nobody was passing tea or fried chicken to Diana Nyad on her grueling 100 mile trek from Cuba to Florida.

This aspect of Rønning’s film is also one of its most absorbing and disappointing parts as highlighted in Glenn Stout’s book: Young Woman and The Sea- about director Joachim sportswriter’ s work. Because these administrators fundamentally do not understand the needs of training, practicing and flourishing for athletes like Ederle among other women. They just don’t give a fuck at all. Mostly, they’re downright hostile, even to Olympians. However, being resourceful as women allows her find solutions each time; within her she has always had a quick mind as well as respect for oneself which helps her remain calm when others underrate her; similarly she maintains same fierce spark we witnessed on Ridley playing Rey in her last three Star Wars movies.

It may be quite instructive for other young women who are also athletes to watch “Young Woman and the Sea.” Nevertheless anyone who ever pursued a goal will find themes of courage and persistence resonating with them. Rønning has struck a good balance here: he created an uplifting sports movie that isn’t corny but inspiring while still trading lightly enough into genre conventions that offer some assurance it needs.

It is also an exciting journey. The Norwegian director of the 2012 Academy Award-nominated “Kon-Tiki” had probably readied himself for the difficulties of shooting in water, and he makes us feel like we’re slashing through waves with her. She has a particularly terrifying passage through a bright-red field of jellyfish, and she can be seen to be afraid in depths even when it is dark and later she is alone walking along Dover’s low tide waters. The cinematography of Oscar Faura (The Impossible, The Imitation Game) represents a variety of locations from Ederle’s cramped lower class upbringing to the bright sunlit wide English Channel.

However, Ederle as a sickly child in 1914 Manhattan on the edge of succumbing to measles. The talented Olive Abercrombie plays her as a spirited tween who will not allow physical illness hinder her from fulfilling her dream of learning how to swim though boys do that according to their traditional German father (Kim Bodnia). Ridley now takes over as a teenager, with Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Helen Reddy in the biopic “I Am Woman”) playing Trudy’s older sister, Meg. (They’re well-cast as sisters and share a warm chemistry, but both actresses look too mature to be playing characters who are so much younger; this was distracting at first.) Their graceful and headstrong mother (Jeanette Hain), decides both girls should train for swimming hence cliché training montages shot at some tiny indoor pool led by Lottie Epstein’s amusingly no-nonsense character Sian Clifford.

The screenplay by Jeff Nathanson (“Catch Me If You Can,” “The Terminal”), an experienced screenwriter, poignantly balances Trudy’s domestic life with her athletic aspirations-what society expects from a butcher’s daughter versus what she wants for herself. She knows very well where she is going, which is an arranged marriage to a nice German boy and a neighborhood she’d likely never leave. Her ability to stand her ground at the inn bar in the French coastal town where she embarks on her 21-mile swim suggests that she’ll be just fine before she ever gets into water. Among the hard-drinking locals, Stephen Graham and Alexander Karim stand out in crucial roles as competitors who become unlikely allies when they recognize their own insane drive in her.

Nevertheless, literally speaking this is a movie where the journey ends at itself. The low-tech way of reporting this across English Channel initially made it funny then got involving. The ebullient sense of joy on the other hand is crowd-pleasing without being corny. “Young Woman and the Sea” does not change anything about this genre but grabs our attention for every stroke we swim along with Trudy as if we are there with her through all those agonising moments.

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