Using real-life gymnasts to land his debut on solid ground, director Elie Grappe presents a compelling psychological portrait of a dedicated young athlete on the cusp of great success. Olga, which played at Critics Week in Cannes, packs in too much plot - the film would have vaulted home with far less. But there’s a grounded authenticity in this hermetically-sealed world of elite sports which should see the arresting Olga travel through festivals, making a name for its director and co-writer on the way. Perfectly timed with this year’s Olympics and the well-documented mental issues affecting the gymnasts there, Olga could catch itself on the bars of the zeitgeist and make a bid for theatrical exposure.

Grappe’s film doesn’t feel a world away from last year’s Cannes Label title Slalom, although the threat to the lonely female athlete here - 15 year-old tough-as-nails Ukrainian gymnast Olga (Anastasia Budiashkina) - isn’t a sexual predator. Instead it’s her very identity: who is Olga, and what will she lose in order to take her shot at success? She’s so absurdly dedicated, and so breathtakingly talented, her teammates call her a robot. But she drives herself too hard, and there’s a breaking point.


  • Friday, 14 October 2022 | 07:00 PM - 08:20 PM


Cowra Civic Centre, 104 Darling Street, Cowra, 2794, View Map

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