Frank and Joan are a long married couple, but like any couple they have secrets from each other. Marred by the scars of their long dead son’s tragic death Frank & Joan are trying to make ends meet and keep a relationship with their surviving son Rob; however, when Frank looses his job building the ships for England’s Navy he feels even more adrift than he did before and his separation from Rob is even more pronounced. Then Frank finds a new goal – he decides to swim the English Channel. With the help of his former co-workers Frank sets out to train and regain a bit of the self-worth that he began to loose when he lost his son.
Going into On A Clear Day I expected to find a quirky comedy; instead I found a dramatic character piece but I was not disappointed. Frank is a man who has always tried to provide for his family and when he lost his son he didn’t know how to deal, shutting out Rob his remaining son, and throwing everything into providing for his family through work. When that is taken away from him as well Frank realizes that he’s no longer connected to his wife or Rob; when his friends enable him to start training to swim the channel it’s clear that Frank wants to reconnect with his family but has no idea how and in the end they find a way to reconnect with him.
This film is definitely a cousin of kitchen sink realism, but with a decidedly more upbeat attitude. On A Clear Day displays an England that still has good, hard-working people but a people that are fighting for normalcy, work and to matter. It’s a people and a country that still wraps their national self-worth in their jobs and Queen. This isn’t much different from the American view point, but sometimes you need a little distance to gain perspective.
On A Clear Day has a fantastic family message that can be appreciated by anyone looking for a more meaningful way to spend two hours.
Director: Gabby Dellal
Writer: Alex Rose
Frank: Peter Mullan
Joan: Brenda Blethyn
Rob: Jamie Sives
Danny: Billy Boyd
Frank: Things aren't meant to be fixed now a days. Not by you any way.