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Nadia, Butterfly

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews


1h 47m

Director Pascal Plante
Starring Katerine Savard, Ariane Mainville, Hilary Caldwell, Cailin McMurray

Genre Drama

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While young and in her prime, Nadia decides to retire from pro swimming after the Olympic Games. After her final race, Nadia drifts into nights of excess punctuated by episodes of self-doubt. But even this transitional numbness cannot conceal her true inner quest: defining her identity outside the world of elite sports.


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IndieWire by David Ehrlich

It doesn’t help that Plante frustratingly writes around the palpable tension between the swimmers’ individual success and their value to each other as teammates. But if his film sometimes mistakes murkiness for ambiguity, it still resolves as a deeply felt (almost anthropological) look at a rare butterfly in search of the second chrysalis she needs to spread her wings and become herself all over again.

The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

In a role that calls for much of her turbulence to be internalized, Savard, who is nearing the end of her own professional swimming career, is magnetic. You feel her unease, and both the weight and the release of her decision, at every turn.

Variety by Peter Debruge

It’s not Nadia’s fault — or Savard’s — that she’s a bore. That’s just the way this oddly incurious movie, which assumes too much of its audience, has made her out to be. In the water, Nadia may be a powerful butterfly, but on land, she’s more of a moth.

TheWrap by Steve Pond

For all the battles that Nadia wages when she’s in the water, this is a subdued and subtly powerful look at the unexpected perils of dry land.