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Against The Current

I used to do a huge amount of flying in a previous job and, however many in-flight films most planes offer these days, I can tell you they wear very thin very quickly if you’re on the same airline several times in the same month.

So when I had to fly to Australia and back recently to shoot the hush catalogue, I was on pretty meagre fare by the time I made it to the last leg of the trip – which is why I ended up watching Against The Current.

Or at least the last two-thirds of it. I missed the beginning, so I can’t explain exactly how it came about that two friends (Paul and Jeff) set about swimming the length of the Hudson, supported by Jeff’s friend Liz.

What I do know is that one of the friends - Paul, played by Joseph Fiennes – had lost his pregnant wife five years earlier, run over by a passing car as she chided him about his smoking.

Overcome by grief, he had attempted suicide, only to be saved by Jeff, who told him that if he still wanted to kill himself in five years’ time, he wouldn’t stop him.

Roll forward those five years and the film is a beautifully-shot and well-scripted buddy movie – comic but always with a melancholy undertone – as the three interact over the course of the swim.

You feel the swim, the companionship and a romance with Liz is therapy for the still grieving Paul, but the realisation that the last day of the swim falls on the fifth anniversary of his wife’s death makes everyone realise that he has other ideas...