Young Woman and the Sea (2024) Review

By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Young Woman and the Sea, based on real events, keeps you engaged with Rønning's delivery, Ridley's acting, and Warner's score, making it a must-watch.

Young Woman and the Sea (2024) Review

The shortest distance between Shakespearean Beach, Dover and Cap Gris Nez, France commonly referred to as The English Channel is 21 miles. The first person to successfully swim across the Channel was Matthew Webb in 1875.  The youngest swimmer was less than 12 years old (the minimum age is now 16) and the oldest was 73.  The first woman to successfully swim the Channel was Gertrude "Trudy" Ederle in 1926.  She was only 21 years old when she crossed from France to England. Young Woman And The Sea, the latest release from Disney, tells the incredible, true story of how a sickly child managed to become an American hero.

As a child, Trudy  (Daisy Ridley; Star Wars: The Force Awakens) had gotten a case of measles which left her hard of hearing since she was young.  Told she couldn't take swimming lessons with her sister and brother because of her earlier illness, Trudy was determined to swim.  She "fed" the boiler, and watched her sister swim, at the Women's Swim Association just to be allowed to use the pool after practice.  She got stronger and eventually became one of the best swimmers in the world. However, despite her success, Trudy was still treated like a second-class citizen...that is until she successfully swam the English Channel.

Ridley was smart casting as she embodies the heart and determination of a champion swimmer while her smile could disarm almost anyone.  She comes across as a likable person and her enthusiasm to swim the channel is infectious. Tilda Cobham-Hervey (Hotel Mumbai) plays Trudy's sister, Margaret and the two actresses have great chemistry making their sisterly bond believable.  Jeanette Hain (Never Look Away) plays the girls' mother with determination, making her a force to be reckoned with and Kim Bodnia (The Bridge) plays their father.  However, the scene stealer is Stephen Graham (Snatch) as the outrageous Bill Burgess, a swimmer who was the second person to successfully swim the channel and who is determined to coach Trudy and help her achieve her goal.

Director Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) does a beautiful job in every way.  He motivates his actors to perform at their full potential, he frames shots for maximum impact and he uses the original score by Amelia Warner (Mary Shelley) to strategically build tension, inspire, and signal triumph.  Conversely, writers Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) and newcomer Glenn Stout does a decent job with the script, but at times fall back on clichéd dialogue that comes across as cheesy.  

The tone of the film matches the dingy tinge of color highlighted throughout the film.  There is often a sense of grayness to the movie that mirrors the obstacles Trudy faces at almost every turn.  From not being allowed to swim to challenges the women's Olympic swim team endured, to the naysayers who were certain Trudy couldn't make it across the channel.  

Young Woman and the Sea is based on real-life events so the audience knows how the film is going to end but Rønning's delivery, Ridley's acting, and Warner's score make it an interesting watch.  It doesn't veer far from Disney's tried and true method of "feel good, family fare" but, now more than ever, I think society could use a little bit of that in our lives and this movie delivers it in spades.  

Not only would I watch this movie again but I would put it as one of my top films of 2024 to date.  I left the theater with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.  I cannot recommend Young Woman And The Sea enough!

Grade: A


Cast:
Directed By:
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 129 minutes
Distributed By: Walt Disney Pictures

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For more information about Young Woman and the Sea visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Young Woman and the Sea images are courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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