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4.4 out of 5 stars
38
4.4 out of 5 stars
On a Clear Day [DVD] [2005]
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on 20 March 2017
Adored this story first time around, story evolves around main character losing his job after a lifetime working on the docks, but thanks to his adoring wife and workmates help him through. The main character decides to swim the 20 miles across the channel to France winning his confidence and his son back in the process, fabulous.
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on 25 May 2017
Gift for someone who subsequently confessed that they "don't watch films" (unless it's to help combat insomnia).
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on 26 April 2017
Loved this film, A real feelgood film and also very motivating. I had never heard of it until someone recommended it, and I'm glad I took their advice
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2009
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 April 2008
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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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 June 2007
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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on 16 March 2006
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 May 2011
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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on 1 June 2011
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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on 4 November 2009
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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