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ON A CLEAR DAY

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Laid off when his Glasgow shipbuilding job goes overseas, Frank (Peter Mullan) tries to offshore himself ... by swimming across the English Channel. His training regimen allows Frank, and the eccentric mates who assist him, to reassert his manhood; it also gives him a chance to redeem himself for the loss of a dead son (who drowned, naturally) and his rejection of a living one. The film may seem familiar in Pittsburgh, which experienced similar symptoms of postindustrial despair ... right down to the hints of anti-Asian prejudice. Indeed, Gaby Dellal's Clear Day covers much the same ground as 1997's The Full Monty  ... charmingly offbeat blue-collar workers redefine masculinity amidst economic decline. Alex Rose's script has a slightly darker feel and argues that Frank must overcome his own patriarchal attitudes. But that's not enough to overwhelm Clear Day's essential amiability ... or to overcome its predictable plot and stock characters. Manor (CP)

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