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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where to next?
When you're fiftyish and have just lost your job, what do you do next?

If you're Frank in "On A Clear Day," then you swim the English Channel, and confront some nasty personal demons. This wee, warm Scottish flick does a great job balancing out comedy and melancholy, with a bit of family strife thrown in. It's just a small-scale, sweet little film.

A...
Published on 14 April 2008 by E. A Solinas

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Quality of DVD was poorly
Film wasn't great but the DVD was pixelated so at times the picture was very fuzzy. It was difficult to watch for a number of reasons, but really disappointed in the quality of the DVD.
Published 12 months ago by alison walker


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where to next?, 14 April 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
When you're fiftyish and have just lost your job, what do you do next?

If you're Frank in "On A Clear Day," then you swim the English Channel, and confront some nasty personal demons. This wee, warm Scottish flick does a great job balancing out comedy and melancholy, with a bit of family strife thrown in. It's just a small-scale, sweet little film.

A Scottish shipyard is laying off workers, and Frank (Peter Mullan) suddenly finds himself without a job. His wife Joan (Brenda Blethyn) starts training to be a bus driver, and his relationship with his son Rob (Jamie Sives) remains chilly, as it has been ever since his other son's death. Frank becomes increasingly depressed and antsy, unsure what to do next.

But while on a "booze cruise" with his friends, inspiration strikes -- he'll swim the Channel. He keeps his plans a secret from his family, but allows Chinese-Scot Chan (Benedict Wong) to be his trainer, with his pals as moral support. But his secret alienates his wife and son even further, and as he faces the biggest swim of his life, Frank will have to overcome his worst, most haunting memories of the sea.

"One Clear Day" is basically a heartwarming little family dramedy, which avoids the usual cliches and schmaltz, even in scenes where it could have easily become goopy. It takes a pretty talented director to handle things like government layoffs and racism without being heavy-handed, or dealing with emotional trauma without being soppy about it.

The plot seems even more colourful against the grey skies and seas of Scotland -- there are sad flashbacks and some melancholy moments, but Dellal balances it out with kooky good-ol'-lads comedy, such as Danny joyously careening around on a tiny motoboat. And the dialogue is nothing short of hilarious, whether it's bawdy jokes or banter ("Shark. Thirty-five footer." "Fell off my bike. Two-wheeler!").

Mullan has a very challenging role -- his character has repressed his grief, and doesn't want to let anyone see his problems. So Frank is gruff, secretive, but has moments of unbridled delight. Blethyn and Sives round out the family beautifully, as Frank's loving wife and emotionally starved son -- the beach scene with the three of them is enchanting.

But the supporting cast is also great -- Jodhi May has a small, good role as Rob's wife, and Ron Cook and Sean McGinley are snappily solid as two of Frank's pals. And Billy Boyd simply steals every scene he's in, as the perpetually upbeat, charmingly troublesome Danny. But comedy isn't his only skill: his best scene would have to be when Danny sadly confesses that he's always wanted to be like Frank.

"On A Clear Day" is a sweet, small Scottish movie with plenty of heart and joking-around, and the ability to warm your heart without turning your stomach. Definitely worth swimming to.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming British film, 30 Oct 2009
By 
Peter Wade (Colchester England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Heartwarming British film

We like to root for the underdog. Frank gets made redundant from the ship yards in Glasgow as he watches the last ship being launched.

He doesn't take it well and decides to pass his time swimming. He sees a little disabled boy swimming and never giving up. It gives him the idea of swimming the English channel.

The story is interwoven with his loss of a job, and the loss of one of his sons when the boy was young in a swimming accident.

His wife meantime is trying to get a job as a bus driver but keeps failing her test.

His mates reluctantly at first by then enthusiastically rally round and help him to train up to 25 miles a week six days a week in six months to swim the English channel.

You see his determination rubs off on his mates as they speak up about their plight and become more confident. It is the standard story of the underdog fighting against all odds.

He has a lot of problems, his job, not communicating with his wife and not communication with his son.

It is really the Full Monty but set in Scotland and with someone stripping to their trunks not just putting a hat on it.

Great little feel good film. If you aren't emotional after watching this film you have a heart of stone
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true grit glasgow style, 16 Mar 2006
By A Customer
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This review is from: On A Clear Day [DVD] (DVD)
A great movie in the style of modern british cinema: calendar girls, last orders etc. Everything which hollywood is not: realistic, ironic, believable, touching. None of the actors will be known to the general public, but they act out of their socks. No "Robin Williams" overacting, just acting as if it were real life. The story is simple: a man loses his purpose when he loses his job. Then he sets himself a personal target to re-gain his self esteem. All the content is in the relationships of the characters and how they react to a grim and grinding situation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What to do next?, 12 Jun 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On A Clear Day [DVD] (DVD)
When you're fiftyish and have just lost your job, what do you do next?

If you're Frank in "On A Clear Day," then you swim the English Channel, and confront some nasty personal demons. This wee, warm Scottish flick does a great job balancing out comedy and melancholy, with a bit of family strife thrown in. It's just a small-scale, sweet little film.

A Scottish shipyard is laying off workers, and Frank (Peter Mullan) suddenly finds himself without a job. His wife Joan (Brenda Blethyn) starts training to be a bus driver, and his relationship with his son Rob (Jamie Sives) remains chilly, as it has been ever since his other son's death. Frank becomes increasingly depressed and antsy, unsure what to do next.

But while on a "booze cruise" with his friends, inspiration strikes -- he'll swim the Channel. He keeps his plans a secret from his family, but allows Chinese-Scot Chan (Benedict Wong) to be his trainer, with his pals as moral support. But his secret alienates his wife and son even further, and as he faces the biggest swim of his life, Frank will have to overcome his worst, most haunting memories of the sea.

"One Clear Day" is basically a heartwarming little family dramedy, which avoids the usual cliches and schmaltz, even in scenes where it could have easily become goopy. It takes a pretty talented director to handle things like government layoffs and racism without being heavy-handed, or dealing with emotional trauma without being soppy about it.

The plot seems even more colourful against the grey skies and seas of Scotland -- there are sad flashbacks and some melancholy moments, but Dellal balances it out with kooky good-ol'-lads comedy, such as Danny joyously careening around on a tiny motoboat. And the dialogue is nothing short of hilarious, whether it's bawdy jokes or banter ("Shark. Thirty-five footer." "Fell off my bike. Two-wheeler!").

Mullan has a very challenging role -- his character has repressed his grief, and doesn't want to let anyone see his problems. So Frank is gruff, secretive, but has moments of unbridled delight. Blethyn and Sives round out the family beautifully, as Frank's loving wife and emotionally starved son -- the beach scene with the three of them is enchanting.

But the supporting cast is also great -- Jodhi May has a small, good role as Rob's wife, and Ron Cook and Sean McGinley are snappily solid as two of Frank's pals. And Billy Boyd simply steals every scene he's in, as the perpetually upbeat, charmingly troublesome Danny. But comedy isn't his only skill: his best scene would have to be when Danny sadly confesses that he's always wanted to be like Frank.

"On A Clear Day" is a sweet, small Scottish movie with plenty of heart and joking-around, and the ability to warm your heart without turning your stomach. Definitely worth swimming to.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Things aren't meant to be fixed now a days., 18 May 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
On a Clear Day is directed by Gaby Dellal and written by Alex Rose. It stars Peter Mullan, Brenda Blethyn, Jamie Sives, Benedict Wong, Billy Boyd, Sean McGinley, Ron Cook and Jodhi May. Music is scored by Stephen Warbeck and photography by David Johnson. Locations used for the shoot were Glasgow, Isle of Man and Dover.

Emotionally shot after being made redundant from his employment at the ship yard, Frank (Mullan) searches desperately for some semblance of hope in his life. Then one day he finds a challenge, a test of endurance to maybe exorcise the demons that haunt his family: Frank aims to swim the English Channel.

Following in the wake of great British comedy/dramas such as Billy Elliot, The Full Monty and Brassed Off, On a Clear Day is a perky, yet tender, human interest story. Story may follow a familiar course as regards a protagonist striving against odds for some sort of meaning, redemption, but it's how this particular protagonists actions affect those around him that opens this up as a more fulfilling story. Frank, his wife Joan (Blethyn) and son Rob (Sives) have had a terrible event in their lives, thus the relationship between father and son is desperately strained. Into the mix comes Frank's recent unemployment and the family is in danger of complete implosion, especially Frank who is extremely low on self esteem.

Then there are the friends in Frank's life, Eddie (McGinley), Danny (Boyd) and Norman (Cook), and a potential friendship in the making with Chinese Take Away owner Chan (Wong). All men low on confidence, all about to become involved in Frank's goal, his attempt to swim the channel becoming a beacon of hope for all of them. It's this collective feeling of the underdog against life's troubles that gives the film its heart beat; if the film is a heart warmer? Then you will have to watch to find out. It's also very funny, even if much of the comedy is very "laddish", with character names such as Merv the Perv and Mad Bob, it's evident that some of the humour is colourful. While it should be noted that the Scottish accents are likely to be a problem for non residents of the UK and Ireland.

Smoothly directed by Dellal and impeccably acted by the cast, this is very much a winner across the board. A film fit to sit alongside those British films mentioned earlier. 9/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of working class dignity, 26 April 2012
By 
LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
I hadn't heard of 2004's 'On a Clear Day' before, but it came up as a recommended title due to an earlier purchase so I decided to take a chance on it. I'm glad I did. I enjoy Peter Mullan's films and found this to be a mildly entertaining 95 minutes.

The essence of the plot is that Frank Redmond, a foreman at a Glasgow shipyard, is made redundant and is on the verge of a nervous breakdown due to the sudden lack of purpose, routine and direction in his life. Matters aren't helped when his wife tries to assume the breadwinner role. To make up for this, on a whim he decides that he will train to swim across the English Channel. In doing so, he also hopes to conquer the seas as his 7 year old son drowned when playing by a beach back in 1979.

This film was never meant to be a blockbuster. Instead it's a quaint viewing experience, but one that also has a serious undertone as it's about the dignity of the common working man. A concurrent theme is also that of family fractures that need bridged. There are many flashes of humour here too and even a cameo by Tony Roper (and his brilliantly named boat).

'On a Clear Day' is an amusing Scottish film. It's a worthwhile production and one that explores the psyche of the traditionalist Glasgow male.

Extras include a commentary and 3 interviews.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Peter Mullan the finest actor in Britain?, 24 Jun 2011
This review is from: On A Clear Day [DVD] (DVD)
A simple story, told with economy and warmth. Some of the comic dialogue is a little forced but the key scenes are well written and beautifully played. Peter Mullan's performance makes the film. His strength and sensitivity make us care about this man, his struggle for identity and his relationships with his wife and son. The scene with Brenda Blethyn where he recalls visiting her father's house only lasts a few seconds but it's priceless, summing up the man and the love that keeps people together. Five stars, not because it's perfect but because I could watch it a thousand times and always be uplifted by this great actor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harmless, entertaining, uplifting., 1 Jun 2011
By 
Robin White (Ashcott) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Stumbled upon this whilst hunting through iPlayer and decided to give it a go based on one or two of the key players (namely Peter Mullan and Billy Boyd). Considering it was a last ditch shot for entertainment on a drizzly afternoon, I wasn't disappointed. The storyline was never going to be hugely enlightening, but as quaint British movies go, the plot was admirable and the actors play their parts with a charming ease. Boyd, as expected, provides a deal of the comic relief and Mullan excels as the middle aged man, struggling with the twin problems of connecting with his 'stay at home dad' son and figuring out what to do with his life after redundancy.

The sub plots play out with varying levels of efficiency - Brenda Blethyn's quest to become a bus driver was relatively unengaging for example, but all in all this is a strong, independent Scottish movie which can entertain for a couple of hours as well as can be expected. Better than a blockbuster on any given (clear) day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On A Clear Day, 4 Nov 2009
By 
R. Hodgson (Lincolnshire. UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: On A Clear Day [DVD] (DVD)
Buy this film! No, I have no vested interest but I've just read someone's 3* review of it which is wrong. This is definitely a 5* film. It's near enough to how it actually is to mean something. Ok some of it isn't exactly how it works on a Channel swim, but it's near enough to make no real difference and the sacrifice of time and energy needed for the training and the gambit of emotions that run through every swimmer are there in spades. If you don't feel the emotion of it all you're simply not human. There are some funny and poignant moments in it too. If you have even a passing interest in open water swimming buy this movie, it will end up being one of your all time favourites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic feel good, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] (DVD)
Fast delivery. Fantastic feel good movie
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On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005]
On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005] by Gaby Dellal (DVD - 2007)
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