5 December 2001 | johnsaff
One-of-a-kind. Smart, funny, touching, unpretentious.
Movies churned out by Hollywood that pretend to explore the inner lives of characters often have them talking ad nauseam about their `feelings,' with a perspective on themselves that a good therapist rarely has. In Swimming, director Robert Siegel allows us to discover and experience the character and the film, rather than shoving it all down our throats.
With honesty and subtlety, Swimming captures a pivotal time in everybody's lives when we're caught between youth and adulthood. It's told from the point of view of a young woman, played to perfection by the amazing Lauren Ambrose, who, after her work in this film, is movie star material.
Swimming also eschews the usual cheesy sappiness and manages to be genuinely sweet, charming, and truly uplifting, not to mention funny. It's also great to see an indie film which is smart and sophisticated, without feeling it has to be `hip.'
If you're looking for a bubble gum teen film, then stay away from Swimming; but if you want to see a movie that respects your intelligence and will have you feeling better about life, this movie is for you.
Great production, strong script, beautiful cinematography, graceful direction, and every performance is terrific.