Harold Fingleton, Geoffrey Rush, is a wharf labourer who's often unemployed. This is a man who survived the Depression and the war but who ended up damaged. He's prone to bouts of depression and alcoholism. His wife Dora, Judy Davis, often bears the brunt of his anger but she loves him and tries to keep the family together. But it's Harold's relationship with his sons that is the core of the picture. He wants them to be men, unfortunately Tony - played as a boy by Mitchell Delle Vergin and as a young man by Jesse Spencer - likes playing the piano and doesn't like body contact sports. But when Harold discovers that both Tony and Tony's younger brother John - played by Thomas Davidson and Tim Draxl - can swim, he becomes their coach. And this will result in triumph - the Fingletons became champion swimmers - and tragedy. This is a film that has emerged out of a lot of pain. The screenplay was written by Tony Fingleton himself. And it's to his credit, and also to Geoffrey Rush's that Harold is portrayed not as a monster but as a truly damaged man. Director Russell Mulcahy who's known more for directing action films like Highlander has handled this sensitive material excellently, he was fortunate that two of this country's best actors were happy to be cast as the parents. But the younger cast of both generations are also very fine. Swimming Upstream is a riveting and moving story of a young man's personal journey.