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    Jodie Foster and Annette Bening Burn Up the Screen in Nyad

    By Jan Wahl–

    I’ve interviewed many interesting famous people. They are often surprising. Tom Cruise was delightful, Paul Newman political, Joan Fontaine gossipy, Hugh Jackman joyous, Kim Novak heavenly, and Matt LeBlanc hungover. But nobody prepared me for the feisty intelligence of Jodie Foster.

    I remember walking out of the interview shaking my head in wonderment. Why is this person not running Yale or Harvard? She is too smart for Hollywood! 

    Born in 1962, Alicia Christian “Jodie” Foster has two Best Actress Oscars, three BAFTA awards, three Golden Globes, and an Honorary Palme d’Or, among other accolades. As a member of the Directors Guild of America, I voted for her when she directed Little Man Tate and Home for the Holidays. Her acting in The Accused and Anna and the King knocks me out, but so does her recent TV series True Detective: Night Country. I’m just a true fan of this gifted woman.

    Jodie Foster

    Her loving portrayal of a coach in Nyad might just be the favorite. I’m glad and surprised she is Oscar nominated, along with her fabulous costar Annette Bening as 64-year-old Diana Nyad attempting to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. 

    The film is based on a true story. Foster plays Bonnie Stoll, Nyad’s sun-scorched best friend and sister in adversity and success. Nothing is airbrushed here; we get a significant and complicated female friendship that breaks age and gender archetypes with strenuous athleticism. Foster put it best when she told The Hollywood Reporter: “I wanted to show older women who were badasses.”

    Annette Bening

    Foster came out of the closet as a gay woman when she was ready. Her long relationship in the film Nyad subtexts that the two women were once lovers. Now they are deep friends and sisters. The luminous Bening matches Foster in every scene, reminding us of her immense talent as an actress who can pay any kind of role. From American Beauty to The Grifters and as the title character in Nyad, she burns up the screen. Since she is paired with Foster it is no wonder this is one of my favorite films of this last year.

    Please keep working, you two remarkable talents. We need you.

    Jan Wahl is a Hollywood historian and film critic on various broadcast outlets. She has two Emmys and many awards for her longtime work on behalf of film buffs and the LGBTQ community. Contact her at

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    Published on March 21, 2024