A character study whose main character is largely an enigma, OLYMPIA is an off-beat tale of a female javelin thrower and the two men who don't exactly love her, but really seem to need her.
Olympia Miraflores (Carmen Nogales) plays a sexy nurse on a Mexican soap opera, but dreams of being a javelin thrower in the Olympics. One day, fed up with her scummy manager, Ed Pedernales (Damian Young), she jumps into the Rio Grande and swims to Texas. Bill Daniels (Jason Andrews), a doughy
loser in his thirties who still lives with his mother, finds Olympia napping in the backseat of his car. He takes her home and, with the aid of a library book, acts as her javelin-throwing coach.
When Bill's mother (Patricia Fiske) throws them out of her house, they move into a cheap motel. Ed tracks them there and begins shadowing the duo, urging Olympia back to acting. Olympia throws a javelin through Bill's foot, and the two begin a sexual relationship of sorts, with Bill again seeking
instruction from a library book. The motel manager (James Black) makes a deal with cash- poor Bill to let the couple stay for free if Olympia will dress as a sexy maid and do commercials for his hostelry. Olympia starts filming the spots, but then balks at the deal, and walks back to Mexico.
Olympia eventually makes it to the Olympics, throwing the javelin for Mexico. The whole episode snaps Bill out of his funk, and he becomes a children's soccer coach.
An example of how truly independent films can offer a distinctive voice in the cinema, OLYMPIA defies narrative convention and generic classification. One is never certain where the story is going; or once it is over, where it has gone. The film seems to be on a course to answer the mystery of
what fuels Olympia's unusual dream, but that answer never comes.
Director Robert Byington based OLYMPIA on his own short story, and it's conceivable the work might have been better realized on the page, as it would allow more access to the title character's interior workings. But mere prose would deny audiences the delightful comic performances delivered by
Young and Andrews and rob OLYMPIA of most of its funniest moments. Some of the fault may lie with Nogales, a model who starred in the director's previous film, SHAMELESS (1993); her performance isn't up to that of her more experienced co-stars. (Sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: NR
- Review: A character study whose main character is largely an enigma, OLYMPIA is an off-beat tale of a female javelin thrower and the two men who don't exactly love her, but really seem to need her. Olympia Miraflores (Carmen Nogales) plays a sexy nurse on a Mexic… (more)