The Gymnast (film)

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The Gymnast
Directed by Ned Farr
Produced by Ned Farr
Written by Michael Carp
Starring Dreya Weber
Addie Yungmee
David De Simone
Music by Craig Richey
Cinematography Marco Fargnoli
Edited by Ned Farr
Distributed by Wolfe Releasing
Release date
  • January 15, 2006 (2006-01-15)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Gymnast is a 2006 film directed by Ned Farr and starring Dreya Weber, Addie Yungmee, and David De Simone.

Plot[edit]

Jane Hawkins (Dreya Weber) was once an Olympic gymnast whose career was ended by a devastating injury.[1] Now in her 40s, she is in a loveless and childless marriage to her husband David (David de Simone) and works as a massage therapist, while still exercising religiously to keep herself in peak condition.

After a chance meeting with a former friend from the gymnastics world, Denise (Allison Mackie), Jane takes an interest in aerial dance and begins lessons with gymnastics trainer Nicole (Mam Smith). During her lessons, Jane meets Serena (Addie Yungmee), a Korean-American dancer who grew up in a Jewish adoptive family, and is a closeted (at least with respect to her parents) lesbian. Serena, Nicole and Jane begin to work together on a Cirque du Soleil style aerial act, which Nicole hopes to present in Las Vegas. However, Nicole is forced to drop out for family reasons. As Jane and Serena continue to work together on the act, they develop an increasingly romantic relationship. Jane finds herself torn between her growing love for Serena, and the potential for a rekindled relationship with her husband who now wants a child.

Jane's husband finds out about the attraction between the two women, and Jane packs her bags and leaves. The movie ends with Jane driving to Las Vegas, where Serena is.

Critical reception[edit]

The Gymnast won both the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding American Narrative Feature and the Audience Award for Outstanding First Narrative Feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Outfest film festival.[2]

The Gymnast was positively reviewed. AfterEllen.com called it “a beautiful, understated film” that “stays true to itself and its characters.”[3] Variety described it as “well acted, well performed” and “surprisingly engrossing despite treading familiar ‘Lifetime Movie’-type female empowerment territory.”[4] In Out at the Movies, Steven Paul Davies said "The Gymnast has been simply one of the best, and most well-received, lesbian-interest movies of recent years."[5] Conversely, in a scholarly analysis, academic Katharina Lindner noted the film's "clichéd story line" acted as "a reinforcement of rather problematic racial and sexual binaries."[6]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Porter, Darwin; Danforth Prince (2007). "The Gymnast: A Vertiginous, Voluptuous & Aerial Lesbian Love Story". Blood Moon's Guide to Gay and Lesbian Film: Second Edition. Blood Moon Productions. p. 217. ISBN 0-9748118-7-4.
  2. ^ "L.A. Outfest". IMDb. July 11, 2006. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  3. ^ Warn, Sarah (July 11, 2006). "Review of "The Gymnast"". AfterEllen.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  4. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (June 21, 2006). "Review: 'The Gymnast'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  5. ^ Davies, Steven Paul (2008). Out at the Movies. Kamera Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-84243-291-4.
  6. ^ Lindner, Katharina (2012). "Situated bodies, cinematic orientations: film and (queer) phenomenology". In Bâ, Saër Maty; Higbee, Will. De-Westernizing Film Studies. London, UK: Routledge. p. 157. ISBN 9780415687843. OCLC 811184179, 748335664.

External links[edit]