- 03:22 AM, May 23
"Against the Current" is the story of Paul Thompson, (Joseph Fiennes), a man who sets out to swim the entire length of the Hudson River - all 150 miles, from Troy, NY to Manhattan. Joining Paul is his best friend since childhood, Jeff (Justin Kirk) and Liz (Elizabeth Reaser), a teacher with nothing better to do during her summer break. Together, the trio embarks upon an unusual road trip, a three-week adventure down the Hudson.
Adamant that they reach New York City by August 28, Paul keeps everyone on a tight schedule. Rain or shine, he swims, while his friends ride alongside in a boat, stopping each night to camp along the river's edge. However, the journey soon takes a troubling turn when Paul reveals that there is more to this adventure than Jeff and Liz originally thought. Paul, who is still grieving a tragic loss, feels that after he completes this swim he will truly have nothing left to live for.
Realizing that the only way to help Paul is to continue with the swim, Jeff and Liz agree to stay on. And so with each passing stroke, a gallows humor settles over the three as they find themselves debating the finer points of jelly donuts, sex, and death. As the jokes and one-liners mix with deeper exchanges, the journey down river becomes a battle not only to save a friend, but to also discover what it is they ultimately seek inside themselves.
Both tragic and funny, "Against The Current" is a compelling and uncompromising exploration of sorrow and loss, one's right to determine one's own fate, and the limits and responsibilities of friendship.