Monday, January 14, 2008

On a Clear Day (2005)

So I just happened to catch the film "On a clear Day" starring Peter Mullan as an out of work shipyard builder who swims the English channel. Brenda Blethyn plays his wife Joan, and both actors contribute a lot to this film that makes me really like it. Of course I can't say anything about the film if I didn't mention Gaby Dellal's direction, and Alex Rose for the screenplay. Both work so well, and make this film an enjoyable view.

Now I've been reading other reviews throughout the Internet, and in print, and I have to say there are a lot of positive reviews for this film, and the ones that give it a negative review seem to drum up that it's a film that we've seen before. These reviews site the plot as a feel good movie about an assortment of cooky characters who do something enlightening, but all I have to say to these reviews is a big "BULLOCKS!"

What the reviews fail to say is that what is at the heart of this film is it's characters and how these characters interact with each other. Mullan's character is interesting, and we become a bit interested ourselves in his family as the film progresses. As we find out a little bit more about Frank (Mullen) we see that he is a complex character. The relationship with his son is deep, and maybe that's where it rang out for me. Relationships between fathers & sons as plot points in films and stories have been around for millinum, and when done right they touch a nerve and resonate. This is what this film does. It resonates with the familiar, and makes you root for the characters.
I'm always surprised to see how a film like this disappears from the radar. I mean why didn't I hear about this movie when it first came out. I can only say that it probably got lost in the choris of movie openings. With todays theaters more and more owned by conglomorates films like "On a Clear Day" never seem to have a chance to aquire viewers. Maybe a few specialty theaters and art houses and then it's done. It becomes just another film to head to DVD, or cable. It's a shame that happens because we do miss a lot of very good films, and make no mistake this film is an excellent piece of work. The performances are all stellar.
"On a clear Day" has no difinitive action scenes, or exploitative scenes for the filmmakers to hype, but what it does have is a solid story that will make you care for its characters, and shout out when they suceed. Catch it if you can I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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