Netflix first clip of Jodie Foster’s Nyad shows power of queer friendship

Annette Bening as Diana Nyad (L) and Jodie Foster as Bonnie Stoll (R) in Nyad.

Netflix’s upcoming biopic Nyad follows the journey of lesbian athlete Diana Nyad’s epic swim from Cuba to Florida – and the story has queer friendship at its heart.

Critically acclaimed actor Annette Bening and two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster portray the iconic sporting duo: marathon swimmer Diana Nyad and her “best friend and coach” Bonnie Stoll.

Based on Nyad’s memoir Find A Way, the feature film adaptation tells “the remarkable true story of athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of [Stoll], commits to achieving her life-long dream: a 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida”.

When the seasoned swimmer turned sports journalist – who failed to complete this swim once before – decides to become the first person to complete the treacherous voyage without a shark cage, she embarks on a four-year journey with Stoll acting as her mentor and supporter.

The uplifting tale of “tenacity, friendship and the triumph of the human spirit” is moving insight into the power of friendship for LGBTQ+ women.

In the two-minute clip released by Netflix on Thursday (31 August), viewers see the moment Nyad tells a disbelieving Stoll her plans to conquer the “Mount Everest” of swims – over a friendly game of ping-pong.

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After Stoll tries to warn Nyad off her “dangerous, absurd fantasy”, the determined swimmer says: “I don’t believe in imposed limitations, I don’t believe in any limitations. And that’s the reason to do it, not the other way round.”

Following some back-and-forth, in which Nyad asks Stoll to be her coach, Nyad ends on an impassioned note. “I am doing it,” she says, “I’m not done. I’ve more in me and so do you. Come on, don’t you want to be fully engaged, fully awake? Your soul ignited by a purpose, a mission?

“It would be an amazing ride, think about it. You and me, a great adventure.”

Written by Julia Cox and directed by Elizabeth Cahi Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, the film has LGBTQ+ icons Bening and Foster at the helm.

In August, Bening shared a heartfelt tribute to her trans son Stephen Ira and reiterated her commitment to advocating for trans rights. The 65-year-old actor previously played a lesbian character in the 2010 film The Kids Are Alright opposite Julianne Moore.

The film also stars Rhys Ifans, Luke Cosgrove, Anna Harriette Pittman and Karly Rothenberg.

Nyad arrives on Netflix on 3 November, 2023.

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