Learn to Swim (2021) Poster

(2021)

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7/10
Well worth checking out: come for the music, stay for the music
paul-allaer21 August 2022
As "Learning to Swim" (2021 release from Canada; 93 min) opens, a jazz combo is performing live on stage, and eventually are joined by a female singer, a woman named Selma, The combo's saxophonist, a guy named Dezi, is dealing with tooth abscess, getting a dentist's prescription to deal with the pain. It's not long before Dezi and Selma have eyes for each other... At this point we are 10 min into the movie.

Couple of comments: this is the feature length debut from director/co-writer Thyrone Tommy. Here he brings an intimate portrait of a possible romance between two aspiring musicians in Toronto's jazz scene. Let me perhaps state the all too obvious: if you don't care for jazz, then don't bother with this film. Tons of great music is featured throughout the film. Someone sign this fictional jazz combo already! The two leads, Thomas Antony Olajide (as Dezi) and Emma Ferreira (as Selma), are new to me and bring a nuanced performance. Bottom line: this movie flew by in no time, and while there isn't anything in either the story or the movie, I quite enjoyed it.

"Learn To Swim" premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, yes almost a year ago. The movie started streaming on Netflix this weekend, and having read a nice write-up about it in Friday's New York Times, I decided to check it out. Glad I did. There is good reason why the film is currently rated 93% certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. If you are in the mood for an intimate relationship drama set within the modern day jazz scene of Toronto, I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.
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8/10
Awesome Music for Jazz Movie
charyleewood2 September 2022
Just watched and I loved the music. I want more of it. The story was ok but the music took front and center for me. Will watch again just to listen to singing and instruments. The singer was great. I want to really hear more of her voice. Every note was smooth and evocative. I don't know if a sound track is available but I'm going to look. It left such an impression. I could just watch the group playing no plot needed. Worth the time to watch just for the music. If anyone likes smooth and mellow jazz with the intimacy of a small band, this is it. And while you know/guess what's bothering the male lead character, it doesn't detract from wanting the female lead to somehow work it out with him.
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