7.0/10
3,013
34 user 59 critic

On a Clear Day (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 2 September 2005 (UK)
Frank determines to salvage his self-esteem and tackle his demons by attempting the ultimate test of endurance - swimming the English Channel.

Director:

Gaby Dellal

Writer:

Alex Rose

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ON DISC
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Mullan ... Frank
Brenda Blethyn ... Joan
Sean McGinley ... Eddie
Jamie Sives ... Rob
Billy Boyd ... Danny
Ron Cook ... Norman
Jodhi May ... Angela
Benedict Wong ... Chan
Anne Marie Timoney Anne Marie Timoney ... Michelle (as Anne-Marie Timoney)
Shaun Dingwall ... Observer
Tony Roper Tony Roper ... Merv the Perv
Paul Ritter ... Mad Bob
Andrew MacLennan Andrew MacLennan ... Andrew
James MacLennan James MacLennan ... James
Irene Ann Burt Irene Ann Burt ... Vera
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Storyline

After decades of laboring as a Glasgow shipbuilder, Frank Redmond, a no-nonsense 55-year-old working-class man, suddenly finds himself laid off. For the first time in his life, he is without a job or a sense of direction, and he's too proud to ask for guidance. His best mates - rascally Danny, timid Norman and cynical Eddie - are there for him, but Frank still feels desperately alone. An offhand remark from Danny inspires Frank to challenge himself. Already contemplating the state of his relationships with loving wife Joan and all-but-estranged son Rob, Frank is determined to shore up his own self-confidence. He will attempt the near impossible - swimming the English Channel. As Frank plunges headlong into his new daily life, his astonished friends are swept along with him. Prodded by stalwart fish-and-chips shop owner Chan, the men support Frank, train him - and keep their goal secret from his wife and son. Frank is unable to confide in those closest to him, but as the big day and ... Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Spring, dive head first into life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 September 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Anything Is Possible See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,303, 9 April 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$186,912, 14 May 2006
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The toy that Rob takes away from his son at school is Thunderbird 2, based on the television series Thunderbirds (1965). Ron Cook played Parker in the theatrical remake Thunderbirds (2004). See more »

Goofs

In the pub scene with Danny and Rob, in one shot, Danny places the glass down, and the next shot, it is back in his hand. See more »

Quotes

Rob: I just don't understand why he is doing this. Swimming The English Channel will NOT bring Stuart back.
Joan: [as she leaves the kitchen, she turns back to her son] It's not Stuart he wants back, Rob.
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Soundtracks

For he is a jolly good fellow
(traditional)
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User Reviews

 
Like a student's quilt, with great pieces that aren't quite put together very well. Huge promise for the future, though!
12 September 2005 | by bopdogSee all my reviews

This movie has strengths and weaknesses. Some of the strengths are its attempt to tell a 'real' story, without recourse to shtick, cliché, or pop-star trickery so common on TV and in movies these days. It seems obvious that the writer and director had visions of something deep, meaningful, as well as entertaining. Another strength is the reliance on the humans, and their real-world behaviors, fears, and hopes (etc.) for the 'current' flow of the movie. The camera lingers, the dialogue is written to enlighten us about the emotions (pleasant as well as despairing) of the characters. It may be said this is a character driven movie, perhaps? And, all of the cast do a commendable job of providing us with the characters' humanity and depth.

Some of the weaknesses, however, are how all of the individual components of the writer and director's vision are executed. Many of the threads of the story simply go nowhere--- not that we necessarily need a big plot-ish conclusion to everything. But we do need some sense, anyway, of what various expositions mean. Sure, we could accept a bit of non-convention, and even artiness, but some of the elements of this story never were stitched together with any other parts of the movie. Worse, those orphaned parts were never really stitched up as themselves--- i.e., they never really completed themselves, nor made any real sense in and of themselves. Without discussing plot details, let me breezily mention the parts with Chan, the Chinese chippy guy, for example. These had neither a start, nor a finish--- we simply saw one brief middle, as it were.

Overall, this is a pleasant movie--- but it isn't a great one. I looked up the director and the writer online, and didn't find much. If they are young, or young-ish, this effort might bode well. That is, this movie resembled a good student-like product from young and promising film makers. Young, in their careers anyway, regardless of their actual calendar year age, but very talented. People to watch in the future.

'On A Clear Day' made me think of quilt makers. Imagine a master-to-be quilt maker; a quilt making artist whose work will be celebrated in the UK and America, and featured on PBS and BBC documentaries and featured in museums, etc. And then imagine this future master's last 'student' project, when she was 17 years old or so, before the magic clicked and she got great. This student work shows genius and promise, both undelivered as of now. That's what 'Clear Day' is like--- a quilt whose individual pieces are great, showing bright and future success, but not put together very well, showing immaturity and a student just beginning to blossom. Oh, the cast was great, and they obviously did everything they were asked to do, and they did it very well. The ill-fitting chunks weren't their fault--- they were just an artifact of the awkward and 'green' directorial efforts.

Go see it anyway--- support the growth of these folks! I gave this an encouraging 8 out of 10.


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