“THE GYMNAST”–girls in love

“The Gymnast”

Girls in Love

Amos Lassen

Wolfe Video announces the release of the movie that has wowed festivals and gained a place in the hearts of many, “The Gymnast”. Challenging ideas of identity and ability, “The Gymnast” is an exquisite film dealing with hope and taking steps to be oneself.

Jane Hawkins (Dreya Weber) is a gymnast and an impressive one who is at the top rung of her career when an injury ends her career. She channels her energy, her strength and her passion into a job she finds tedious and boring as a massage therapist. Living in a loveless marriage, it appears that all adventure is gone from her life when she has a chance meeting that sets her life in a new direction. She meets Serena (Addie Yungmee) who performs in an aerial act and is both beautiful and extremely mysterious. Each of the women is taken in by the other but distractions occur. Jane bemoans that she has no children and Serena lives as a lesbian who is still closeted and is plagued by stereotypes as an adopted Korean daughter of Jewish parents. The two prepare for an audition for a Las Vegas show, the attraction between the two women becomes even stronger and the result is a look at identity and ability.

This is a must-see film. The gymnastics are fantastic and the acting is superb. What these two women do on the screen is beyond imagination, not just physically but emotionally as well.

“The Gymnast” looks at love, loss, personal struggle and transformation and it honors both women and beauty. Jane is “everywoman”. She as had a wonderful life with a great deal in her favor yet she is unhappy. She has strength and intelligence but an accident stops her and she lives a life of misery. To fill her life, she seeks challenges and as she does so, we feel her despair and hopelessness but we also admire the power of her convictions. She stuns with her performance and we cheer for her as she discovers love and a new path after she meets and teams up with Serena. Jane’s broken personality shows her honesty and beauty.

Director Ned Far captures the relationship between the two women in a beautiful and realistic way and the movie engages the viewer in a most profound way.

Everything about “The Gymnast” is first class—the acting, the directing, the cinema photography, the music. The treatment of “coming to terms” with sexuality as well as aging, relationships, self-discovery and courage are all explicated on a high level and relate to issues that so many of us face. It isn’t just a good story; it is a visual feast with absolutely gorgeous aerial performances. Photographing happiness is no easy task and coming to terms with reality is even more difficult. This movie does both—stylishly and with a great deal of grace.

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