Slow and boring, 120X fast forward, eject. There are much better movies out there! Do not waste your time with this one. I saw high reviews on Amazon was fooled but maybe this is your cup of tea and I am wrong!
Laurie F. from SISTERS, OR Reviewed on 4/17/2014...
I love this movie. It shows how a family, each in their own way, deals with grief, and misunderstandings. The main character, the father, takes his series of losses, and focuses on an "impossible challenge". Tender, with some fun humor!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Struggle to Restore Self Worth
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 07/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ON A CLEAR DAY is a wee Scottish film that is full to overflowing with heart and fine performances. Writer Alex Rose and Director Gaby Dellal have managed to explore the psyches of the ordinary folk who face the crises of unemployment, of strained family relations and the fear of loss of pride in one's self and have created not only a sympathetic story with a message, but have also delivered their story with humor and a glint of the eye that makes the whole thing work - very well indeed.
Frank (Peter Mullen) watches as the last ship he will ever have worked on is launched as his wife Joan (Brenda Blethyn) and his son Rob (Jamie Sives), daughter in law Angela (Johdi May), and grandson twins celebrate the launching. We soon learn that Frank is now jobless, that there is friction with his son Rob (who had been a twin but the other twin died at age 7) who doesn't have a traditional job but instead is a stay at home Dad. Money is tight and Joan secretly is training to be a bus driver. Franks cronies Eddie (Sean McGinley), Danny (Billy Boyd), and Norman (Ron Cook) see Frank slipping into depression. Frank spends his time swimming at the public swimming pool and while there he sees three young physically challenged boys trying and by will power succeeding to swim. Frank decides he needs to prove himself to his friends, family and himself and decides to swim the English Channel. He enlists his buddy Chan (Benedict Wong) and eventually his cronies and they prepare for the challenging swim. The manner in which this drive influences his marriage, his relationship with his son and his perception of himself is the driver for the very tender ending.
The cast is first class all the way, acting with that inimitable UK fashion of finding reality in the simplest of characters. The story is a joy to watch for its understated manner and for the glowing theme of the film. Recommended for all audiences. Grady Harp, July 06 "
Rescued by cinematic craft
Jean E. Pouliot | Newburyport, MA United States | 05/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frank Redmond and his friends at the Glasgow Shipyard have just launched their last vessel. Now they have been laid off and are struggling to restart their lives after decades of sure employment. Frank is taking his new status particularly hard, and seems on the verge of a heart attack or nervous breakdown when he has an idea -- why not resurrect his self-esteem by swimming the English Channel?
"On a Clear Day" boils down to a story we have seen a thousands times: the underdog who struggles valiantly against all odds to reclaim his dignity and (more importantly) learn about Life. Think "The Bad News Bears," "Calendar Girls" and "The Full Monty." What rescues this film from the banality of repetition is the superb cast, the inclusion of neat motifs and the diversion of a few interesting subplots.
The main subplot relates to an unresolved tragedy in Frank's family that keeps him from being opening up to his son. Then, Frank's wife is secretly trying to get her bus-driving license to supplement the diminished family income, something she doesn't want Frank to find out.
There's not much suspense in the film -- in the sense that only a completely boorish or devilishly artsy director would withhold some form of ultimate triumph -- but it's fun watching this cast of misfits get there. These include the Chinese cook who can't stand up to abuse from his customers and suppliers; the goofy young lad (Billy Boyd in a post-LOTR/Pippin role) who wants (but can't manage) to be just like Frank; and the middle-aged man equally afraid of women and sailing. The strained relationship between Frank (Peter Mullan) and his son Rob (Jamie Sives) is exquisitely painful, and unfolds through marvelous scenes in which neither says a word, but in which the audience knows exactly what each is thinking and feeling. A phenomenal piece of acting, writing and editing that raises this film from a hum-drum 3 stars to a more exalted 4."
Kept Me Laughing
Annalee Blysse | USA | 10/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is a wonderful film about "real life" people. I think it is really hard to pull that off and keep it interesting when so many viewers are used to Hollywood glitz. But this movie was full of laugh-out-loud scenes and the dialogue was great. Though, the soundtrack volume choices left something to be desired for American ears struggling with accents. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, and laughing at their antics."
A good movie for older adults
Wendy Schroeder | Englewood, Co United States | 09/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Frank is laid off from his job and feels like his life is over. Slowly he gets himself together and decides to swim the English channel.
I liked Frank and his wife Joan a lot. I admired Joan wanting to try something different (learning to drive a bus). Frank's friends are interesting and seem like real people too.
My one complaint is there wasn't captioning. I had a difficult time understanding their accents occasionally and I felt I missed some important dialog."
Donna Delaune | Jeanerette, LA, USA | 09/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With strong performance by Peter Mullan and Brenda Blethyn. At age 55 Frank finds himself laid off from his job...a job he has always used as a way to deal with his grief for a son who drowned as a child. Frank is estranged from his remaining son, who is a house-husband. Seeing a crippled boy swim, Frank is inspired to swim the English Channel. In the end father and son are reconciled. There are some funny moments too."