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Against the Current

3.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Oct 26, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

When is life not worth living anymore? A marvelous cast led by Joseph Fiennes explores that question when Paul Thompson (Fiennes of Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth) talks old buddy Jeff (Justin Kirk of Weeds) into helping him fulfill a crazy childhood dream of swimming the entire 150 mile length of the Hudson River. Joined by Liz, a teacher intrigued by their scheme (Elizabeth Reaser of The Twilight Saga and Emmy nominated for TV s Grey s Anatomy), they plunge into the adventure with glee. But Paul and Liz soon realize Paul is driven by more than just the stunt when they find out Paul s deadline to finish is also the anniversary of his wife s unexpected death. Is swimming against the current a struggle against sadness or the last act of a man who is ready to give in to grief? Mary Tyler Moore (multiple Emmy winner and Oscar nominee for Ordinary People) and Michelle Trachtenberg (TV s Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Mysterious Skin) round out the cast of this thoroughly original and conversation-starting drama.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Fiennes, Mary Tyler Moore, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Reaser
  • Directors: Peter Callahan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y7F1GY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,185 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Against the Current" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ron on October 3, 2010
Format: DVD
This is truly a heartfelt film. It will force you to look deep into your soul and question the pains of depression. Did you ever have someone you loved, who then died suddenly? How long were you depressed? A year? Two years? Five years? Do you ever get over a loved one who you have lost? Based on my experience--no, you don't. Anyway, this is pretty much what AGAINST THE CURRENT is about. Before Paul lost his wife and daughter, he told his wife that one day he would swim down the entire length (approx. 150 miles) of the Hudson River. Close to the 5th anniversary of his wife's (and daughter) death, he decides to take the plunge. He rounds up his two friends, Jeff and Liz. They will ride in a boat alongside Paul while he swims. I don't want to spoil the rest for you so I will stop here. As I said before, this is a brilliant film. The writing and directing are top notch. Justin Kirk was perfect for his role as Jeff. He displayed the right amount of sarcasm and sympathy. The same goes for Elizabeth Reaser as Liz. She had terrific chemistry with Paul. But the star of the film was Joseph Fiennes as Paul. I always thought Fiennes was at his best when he portrayed introspective characters, such as William Shakespeare and Robert Dudley. His performance in this film is no exception. This is his best performance in a long time. In conclusion I would just like to say that I think it's ridiculous that more people will not have the opportunity to see this fine film in the cinema unlike those of us who saw it at a film festival. I find it amazing that excellent films like AGAINST THE CURRENT are going straight to DVD while lousy films are being shown at the cinema. And there were a lot of losers at the cinema this year. Oh, well--I guess I should be glad that it will be coming out on DVD. It's better than nothing.
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Format: DVD

This film definitely is effecting, and very beautifully shot. I liked seeing the changing scenery on the riverbanks from the point of view of being in the water. The movie contained alot of humor, and it was delivered naturally and realistically.

The scenes with Mary Tyler Moore were funny but uncomfortable as well, giving me a sense on one hand that whoever she was addressing was a sort of trapped insect that she could crush without a second thought, yet on another, sometimes seeming as though she would be quite shocked that anyone would think her malicious. I think her daughter was the permanently trapped insect.

I thought that in their own ways, Jeff and Liz were just as lost as Paul was, as in Liz's case, with a mother who never really saw her or listened to her. We hear that Jeff's parents are also very wealthy and similarly uninterested/disappointed in him. Other than this, the characters are not very well developed, to the film's detriment.

The film did stretch believability quite a bit. One day a guy decides to swim 140 miles of the river, and so he jumps in a wetsuit and off he goes, with no training whatsoever, and despite swimming miles each day, never appears to be even tired, let alone sore and exhausted. Even professional swimmers have to train for endurance events. I thought it was funny that in the last scenes after getting out of the water, his hair was dry.

I have to say that you would have to go far to find someone more self absorbed and selfish than Paul. I understood that he was grieving, but as Liz pointed out in a great scene, everyone suffers, everyone loses those that they love, and most people find a way to go on.
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2 Comments 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
A serious attempt to dramatize loss and lingering grief, "Against the Current" may be embraced by viewers for its universal themes and serious tone. Writer and director Peter Callahan has assembled a grown-up and well meaning film, but good intentions don't always translate to great film. While I appreciate the subject matter, respect the film's intent and those who may find it identifiable, and feel there is lots to recommend within this piece--it ultimately falls a little short dramatically. Those who love this film will probably tear me apart, but I ended up being a little disconnected and emotionally distant from a film that is essentially about feeling and caring. And that's unfortunate--because I wanted to love "Against the Current."

Joseph Fiennes plays a widower still reeling from the death of his wife and unborn child years previously. Nearing the fifth year anniversary, he embarks on a crazy quest to swim the length of the Hudson River. Enlisting his closest friend (Justin Kirk) and, rather arbitrarily, a random acquaintance (Elizabeth Reaser)--they set off on an adventure. That's really about all--the film fleshes out the dynamics of this threesome with relative success while they share various moments along the way. The largest diversion is at Reaser's family home with some comedic mayhem provided by Mary Tyler Moore. This section, while sporadically funny, appears as if out of another film altogether. The shifting tone is both one of the film's strongest attributes and one of its primary weaknesses. Reaser is lovely and appealing and lightens things up quite a bit and Kirk has his wisecracking shtick down pat. I appreciated the interplay between Kirk and Fiennes and found them quite believable as lifelong friends.
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