Friday, June 9, 2006



The Strait of Dover is the narrowest part of the English Channel being only 21 miles from Dover to Cap Gris Nez. In 1875 Captain Matthew Webb made the first observed and unassisted swim across it from England to France in 21 hours and 45 minutes.
In the next 50 years ten swimmers managed to emulate the feat (or claimed they had) so in in 1927 the Channel Swimming Association was founded to observe, authenticate and ratify cross-channel swims in the Strait of Dover.
 Total number of ratified swims under CSA rules up to 2004:
948 successful crossings, 456 by men and 214 by women.
 Fastest swim: Chad Hunde (USA) on the 27th September 1994
in 7 hours 17 minutes.
 Oldest male swimmer: George Brunstad (USA), 70 years old when he crossed on the 27th and 28th of August 2004, taking 15 hours 59 min.
 Slowest crossing: Henry Sullivan (USA) in 26 hours 50 minutes
 Shortest ever attempt: Bruno Tajana (Swiss) gave up after just 100 yards while the water was still only knee-deep

Peter Mullan: Frank Redmond, foreman in a Glasgow shipyard
Brenda Blethyn: his wife Joan
Jamie Sives: their son Rob, a stay-at-home dad
Sean McGinley: Frank’s best buddy, also a factory worker at the shipyard
Billy Boyd: Danny Campbell, who thinks highly of Frank
Ron Cook: Norman, the shy quiet type
Benedict Wong: Chan, owner of a local take out store

Sometimes our simmering secret desires manifest themselves in the strangest of ways. Such is the case with this endeavour, undertaken by someone who should be seriously contemplating how to take it easy rather than pushing himself to new limits.

Even with this premise of hope, somehow the movie lacks punch, in part because of several sub-plots which tend to “muddy” the main point of the whole thing. With few exceptions, the acting is just so-so and the pacing somewhat ponderous.

for some language.

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