Swimming Upstream
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The true story of Tony Fingleton, a young man from a troubled family who found the inner strength to become a champion. Set in 1950s Brisbane, Australia, the family drama centers on Tony, a young man who beats the odds to become a champion swimmer in spite of his overbearing, alcoholic father and long-suffering, but quietly heroic mother. Overshadowed in his father's eyes by his brothers, it's only when Tony displays an extraordinary swimming talent that he feels he has a shot at wining his father's heart--and maybe even Olympic gold.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The story isn't unusual or compelling enough to make a lasting impression."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"The grim material isn't helped by the hackneyed direction of Russell Mulcahy, a music-video veteran."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"The glimpses we get of this profoundly dysfunctional and violence ridden family are just that, as if viewed vaguely from a nosy neighbor's window."
‑ Prairie Miller, Long Island Press
"It'll not be remembered for the ages, but it succeeds in avoiding biopic pitfalls that have succumbed some of the best, and that's good enough to make it worth a look."
‑ Joe Utichi, FilmFocus
"...sticks closely to a formula that no longer holds many surprises, and leads to a message that isn't particularly novel or satisfying."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"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
"Ends up merely treading water."
‑ Jack Mathews, New York Daily News
"...routine and banal..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Geoffery Rush steals the show like he always does."
‑ Eric Lurio, Greenwich Village Gazette
"In addition to the pure drama of this story, it's the performances that make the film so compelling."
‑ Diana Saenger, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"Makes you sit up and take notice, if only for the fine performances of the terrific Judy Davis as his abused mother and Geoffrey Rush as his bitter, angry dad."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Their vivid, uncompromising performances redeem what could have been a clichéd coming-of-age story."
‑ Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News
"A moving drama that's ultimately worth seeing for the performances of Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis, even if you feel that you haven't quite heard the full story."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
"Leave it to Mulcahy to screw everything up with an overwrought, MTV-ready visual style that obscures any dramatic heft."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"Basically, this is a fairly run-of-the-mill story of family dysfunction with a sports twist."
‑ Tim Cogshell, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for Swimming Upstream on Rotten Tomatoes