Critics Consensus

A refreshingly low-key coming-of-age story.



Reviews Counted: 39

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,151


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.1/5

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Movie Info

Robert J. Siegel directs this understated exploration of love, sexuality and friendship. Set during the opening of the summer vacation season at Myrtle Beach, the film focuses on Frankie (Lauren Ambrose), a quiet, introverted girl who works with her brother Neil (Josh Pais) at the family's burger joint. Frankie's best friend is the trash-talking Nicola (Jennifer Dundas Lowe), who runs the body-piercing hut next door. When Neil hires the gorgeous Josee (Joelle Carter) as a waitress, Nicola can barely conceal her jealousy, while Frankie is utterly mesmerized by the nubile beauty. Later, a goofy but sweet drifter named Heath (Jamie Harrold) arrives in town, selling T-shirts from the back of his van. He instantly finds himself attracted to Frankie, ignoring both Nicola and Josee. This film was screened at the 2000 Rotterdam Film Festival.


Critic Reviews for Swimming

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (17)

  • A gracefully acted, unsentimental, quite likable little coming-of-age movie.

    Sep 20, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • The film is an earnest try at beachcombing verismo, but it would be even more indistinct than it is were it not for the striking, quietly vulnerable personality of Ms. Ambrose.

    Sep 18, 2002 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • The town has kind of an authentic feel, but each one of these people stand out and everybody else is in the background and it just seems manufactured to me and artificial.

    Sep 16, 2002
  • Swimming isn't a major film. Nor does it try to be. But what, in the end, is a major film? If it's one that accomplishes what it sets out to do, then we ought to correct ourselves.

    Sep 13, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4

    John Anderson

    Top Critic
  • A refreshingly authentic coming-of-age tale.

    Sep 13, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
  • Swimming is above all about a young woman's face, and by casting an actress whose face projects that woman's doubts and yearnings, it succeeds.

    Sep 13, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Swimming

Three things, to me, elevate this movie to five-star excellence. The first is the brilliance and relateability of Lauren Ambrose's exceptional performance. She can project five emotions just through a facial expression. The second, is the simplicity of the story, and its realism. And the third is perhaps more personal; one scene features the Leona Naess song "Comatised" - one of my faves of all time!

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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