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Swimming Upstream

  PG-13 Closed Captioning

Russell Mulcahy

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Plot Summary

Young Tony Fingleton has a very distant relationship with his distant father, Harold (Geoffrey Rush), and "Swimming Upstream" depicts the dedication it took to win his respect. Born into a large family and convinced by his father that he will never amount to the achievements of his brothers, Tony attempts to win his father's respect by becoming a champion swimmer. Despite his best efforts to please his father, Tony also begins to realize his own self-worth in the process.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 38
  • Fresh: 23
  • Rotten: 15
  • Average Rating: 5.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: While [the production notes] describe the story's Rocky-like outlines, they ignore the gripping, downbeat family drama at the movie's core. – Stephen Holden, New York Times, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Distinguished by some unusually fine performances, but the lack of a satisfactory third act diminishes overall result. – David Stratton, Variety, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Evokes time and place without being showy about it and offers an altogether invigorating experience. – Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, Sep 20, 2007

Rotten: Good as Rush and Davis are as combative working-class parents Harold and Dora, their story line overpowers the drippy dramatics of their teen athlete son. It unwittingly feels like two separate movies. – Luke Sader, Hollywood Reporter, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Quite Good

This was quite a good film, good acting performances all around, had some complex themes satisfactorily explored, and some subtle messages that were neither heavy handed nor saccharin. It's a story of the weakness that comes from innocence in the face of vitriol, and the path to self confidence that comes through trauma and reaction to it--not particularly noble-- rather than responding with the same vitriol as the generation before. In other words, the protagonist succeeds to spite his father, not the most noble reason, but is at least one step better than what the father does (self destruct and destruct those around him) to spite his mother.

Swimming Upstream

This movie truly is inspirational. Tony Fingleton is more than just a character, but a real relatable person with a deep past. I've recommended this movie to dozens of people, especially ones who seek to make themselves their own person, despite what others wish. This movie portrays the times will and the story of Tony in a very will played manner. The acting is superb (like always with this cast) and the overall impact from the film really means something. The content is deep while not delving too much into specific subjects.

If you're renting this movie, the 3 dollars is worth it and same goes for purchasing.

10 out of 5 stars for this brilliant movie.

Swimming Upstream
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2005

Customer Ratings