San Diego's Morning News with Ted and LaDona

San Diego's Morning News with Ted and LaDona

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At The Movies With Josh: Young Woman and the Sea

I sure hope this wonderful true story can find an audience. That might be tough after the release of the much Oscar nominated NYAD last year, which had a lot of similarities. It helps that this movie had a nicer protagonist that will be easier for audiences to digest and root for. 

And for those of you that were disappointed by George Clooney’s “Boys in the Boat” (as was I), this might look like that from the trailers, but it’s a lot better.

Daisy Ridley (Star Wars) produced and stars, as a world-record holding swimmer, who was born to immigrant parents in 1905 in New York. We watch as she survives the measles (after a doctor told the parents she’d be dead by nightfall). She’s then told she can’t learn to swim, because that’s something boys do. She found a female coach with a girls swim team, and she soon started to excel. She went from winning free Nathan’s hot dogs by being able to swim around a pier, to winning trophies in races. The movie shows her going to the Paris Olympics and losing, after a coach wouldn’t let her train on the three week boat trip to France. (Surprisingly, when I Googled, I saw that she won a gold medal in the Olympics, and also a bronze; none of that was shown). As usual with movies based on true stories, I have trouble believing one coach would try to sabotage Gertrude the way he did (yet I couldn’t find anything about that). That coach is played well by Christopher Eccleston (who seemed to be channeling Ralph Fiennes).

Stephen Graham was great as the eccentric swimmer/trainer who helps Gertrude.

Kim Bodnia (who my wife loved on “Killing Eve”) is great as the stern dad, who just wants his two daughters to work with him in the butcher shop, and marry men he’s arranged to come in from Germany. One of those set-ups results in a hysterical scene with a guy who has a vocabulary that consists mostly of the word “nuts.”

Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Dev Patel’s longtime partner) was just wonderful as the sister. She had scenes where she had to subtly be angry, and she was great as a cheerleader for her sister. You really felt they had a strong bond.

Jeanette Hain, a popular German actress, was good as the mom early on, but I thought they should’ve toned down her sternness a bit. 

This is a very inspirational movie that I think everyone will enjoy.

3 ½ stars out of 5.

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