APPLES NEVER FALL – Review by Susan Granger

Based on a bestseller by Australian author Liana Moriarty (Big Little Lies), Apples Never Fall is a seven-episode limited series that’s ready for binging. The family drama begins with the sudden disappearance of recently retired Joy Delaney (Annette Bening), who spent decades running a prestigious tennis academy in West Palm Beach with her husband Stan (Sam Neill), a highly competitive former player who became a respected coach, having launched the career of Grand Slam winner Harry Haddad (Giles Matthey).

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Annette Bening on Preparation for NYAD – Wendy Mitchell interviews

Annette Bening can still hardly believe she has been on the heightened emotional and physical journey playing the long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad. “I never in my wildest imagination ever imagined doing something like this. Especially in my 60s!” she says with a hearty laugh. “So that’s what was also very enticing about it.” When Bening first read the script, adapted from Diana Nyad’s memoir Find A Way, she remembers, “I was moved and I laughed, I was furious at her, but I loved her. I found her funny. I found her exasperating. I found the story just ultimately so inspiring because it’s so surprising. As a character she was outrageous and I knew I wanted to play her. Bening certainly questioned herself as she trained for a year in the pool, not just to get into the right shape to walk around in a swimsuit for most of the film but also to make sure she had the precise strokes and breathing patterns of a seasoned swimmer — even the same breathing to the left that Nyad had to do to see her coach Bonnie Stoll (played by Jodie Foster) on the boat.

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NYAD – Review by Diane Carson

Nyad takes as its subject an extraordinary, record setting individual, marathon swimmer Diana Nyad. Rather than a nonfiction presentation, they dramatize Nyad’s attempts to become the only person to swim the one hundred three miles from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, without a shark cage, in dangerous waters, including jellyfish, sharks, and strong currents. Nyad first attempted the arduous swim in 1978 when she was twenty-eight and then took up the challenge again in her 60s. She would need all her resolve to make repeated attempts at achieving her goal.

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NYAD – Review by T.J. Callahan

Academy Award nominee Annette Bening makes a splash as the tenacious, outspoken, record breaking swimmer with a superiority complex. Bening keeps this flick afloat with her willingness to go the extra mile in and out of the ocean. Co-star and Oscar Winner Jodie Foster matches Bening stroke for stroke as her best friend and coach, Bonnie Stoll. As NYAD kicks into gear, so do Bening and Foster with an effortless relay exchange of dialogue that helped keep this two hour aquatic tale from going under.

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NYAD – Review by Jennifer Merin

Anyone age five or older in 2023 most likely knows of the exploits of Diana Nyad, the legendary long distance swimmer who at long last conquered her long-standing goal of swimming the 110 miles of open sea from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida. She was age 64 when she dove into her fifth attempt to swim the distance and, despite daunting odds, reached Key West after some 53 hours in the water. Directing their first narrative feature, directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin effectively tell the story of Nyad’s triumph.

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HOPE GAP – Review by Martha K Baker

A marriage on the brink. Arguments. A son. Long walks. Consults with lawyers. Papers signed. Depression with determination. Happiness. No, this is not another review of Marriage Story. This is a review of Hope Gap, which those phrases also describe. Do we need another film about a marriage’s ending We do if it’s Hope Gap

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HOPE GAP – Review by Diane Carson

Among the most popular and praised films from last year, Marriage Story dramatizes, often painfully, a young couple’s separation and alienation. As if adding a postscript, Hope Gap focuses even more intensely on the dissolution of a twenty-nine year marriage. However, instead of giving equal weight to wife Grace and husband Edward, the profile stacks the deck against Grace.

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THE REPORT – Review by Brandy McDonnell

Jones spent five years compiling his 6,700-page report, and unfortunately, the movie feels at least this long, with the paper shuffling and screen scrolling occasionally broken up by flashbacks to the CIA black ops sites where the torture is happening. These scenes are understandably hard to watch, and Burns just keeps coming back to them.

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THE REPORT – Review by Diane Carson

Following the tragedy and trauma of 9/11, California Senator Dianne Feinstein charges staff assistant Daniel J. Jones to investigate and verify, or refute, information regarding the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. Jones becomes obsessed with his task as high-level operatives and officials dissemble and misrepresent, flat out lie and withhold information.

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