Shot on location in Glasgow and Dover, director Gaby Dellal's first feature takes off from a true story of one man's determination to swim the English Channel. The film deftly avoids the pitfalls of sentiment through a self-deprecating humor that recalls THE FULL MONTY in tone and theme, as well as a stunning performance from Peter Mullen (YOUNG ADAM) as protagonist Frank Redmond.
After 40 years of working as a shipbuilder, the somewhat taciturn Frank has been "made redundant" and let go from his job. He finds himself utterly unmoored without the routine and trappings that have defined his existence for so long, and suffers a loss of self-respect that he is unable to talk about with his loving wife, Joan (Brenda Blethyn, PRIDE & PREJUDICE), and son, Rob (Jamie Sives). Floundering, Frank becomes obsessed with the idea of swimming the Channel, and undertakes the project with the help of Chan (Benedict Wong, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS), the owner of the local fish-and-chips shop, who becomes Frank's personal trainer. His three best mates (Billy Boyd, Sean McGinley, and Ron Cook) sign on for the ride as well, each discovering new strength in themselves along the way. But it is Frank's relationships with his family that are the most moving part of the film, as he deals with the demons that have hounded him for over 20 years and rediscovers the bonds he shares with his wife and his long-estranged son.