Swimmers, a drama set on Maryland's Eastern Shore, examines how people cope when they've lost what's most important to them.
Emma Tyler (Tara Devon Gallagher), an 11-year-old girl with a passion for swimming, is devastated when doctors say she can't go in the water because of an internal ear injury. Emma's father, Will Tyler (Robert Knott), is a struggling Chesapeake Bay waterman who takes on odd jobs to raise money for her surgery. Financial problems consume the family, and Emma feels ignored. She finds companionship in Merrill (Sarah Paulson), a young woman mourning the death of her mother.
At first, Emma and Merrill make an odd pair, but the relationship works because of the chemistry between the actresses. Their candid conversations offer some of the film's best dialogue.
Cherry Jones' portrayal of Julia Tyler, Emma's mother, is also a stand out. Julia is the glue that holds the family together, and despite her role as matriarch she reveals an underlying vulnerability.
Swimmers has a tendency to leave viewers treading water, but in a good way. The movie doesn't spell anything out, so viewers must rely on subtle cues from the characters to put the pieces together.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times