On A Clear Day review

This swimming-as-male-redemption movie comes from the same pool of plucky-Brit-bloke self-realisation as The Full Monty and its copycats. As such, it's a pretty predictable belly flop that lacks the guts to either crank up the crowd-pleasing or go for gritty.

The man in need of saving here is Frank (Peter Mullan), a redundant dockyard worker who sets out to renew his dignity by swimming to France, in the process fixing relations with his estranged son. The film racks up the usual checkpoints: salty banter, salt-of-the-Earth chippy employees and so on, strokes so familiar that the supposed feel-good highs are too inevitable to trick you into being moved. Sure, Mullan and, as Frank's wife, Brenda Blethyn strike a nicely weathered balance between crag and tenderness. But they can't out-swim the suspicion that this is, on a clear day or not, seriously under-scripted stuff.


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