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The Shipping News (2001)

R | | Drama | 18 January 2002 (USA)
1:47 | Trailer

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An emotionally-beaten man with his young daughter moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to reclaim his life.



(based on the novel by) (as E. Annie Proulx), (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Agnis Hamm
Beaufield Nutbeem
Dennis Buggit
Bayonet Melville
Silver Melville
Alyssa Gainer ...
Bunny Quoyle
Kaitlyn Gainer ...
Bunny Quoyle
Lauren Gainer ...
Bunny Quoyle


An inksetter in New York, Quoyle returns to his family's longtime home, a small fishing town in Newfoundland, with his young daughter, after a traumatizing experience with her mother, Petal, who sold her to an illegal adoption agency. Though Quoyle has had little success thus far in life, his shipping news column in the newspaper "The Gammy Bird" finds an audience, and his experiences in the town change his life. Then he meets the widow Wavey... Written by <jonas.reinartz@web.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dive Beneath The Surface See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language, sexuality and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 January 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atando cabos  »

Box Office


$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$318,502 (USA) (21 December 2001)


$11,405,825 (USA) (8 March 2002)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Kevin Spacey put on about 25 pounds for the role of Quoyle. See more »


The Quolye house had running water for tea and washing dishes. The source of the water is unknown and hard to imagine with the rock that the house sat upon. When the big storm came and blew away the house the water pipes were nowhere to be seen in the ruins. See more »


[first lines]
Quoyle: [father teaching him literally to sink or swim] I used to imagine that I'd been given to the wrong family at birth, and that somewhere in the world my real people longed for me. From where my father stood, my failure to dog-paddle was only the first of many failures. Failure to speak clearly, failure to sit up straight, failure to make friends every time we moved to another dreary upstate town. In me, my father recognized a failed life. His own.
See more »


References The Shining (1980) See more »


Still a Fool
a.k.a. "Two Trains Running"
Written by Muddy Waters (as McKinley Morganfield)
Performed by Joseph Kubek
Featuring Bnois King
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Extraordinary adaptation of a brilliant novel
26 December 2002 | by (Boston, Massachusetts, USA) – See all my reviews

Having read the brilliant and seamless novel - and believing that movie adaptations of novels rarely succeed - I did not expect to like this movie. Much to my surprise, I found the film totally successful. Kevin Spacey - who seemed to be an odd choice for the role - is perfect as Coyle, capturing the true spirit of the character and proving himself to be one of the finest movie actors of his generation. Judi Dench is, as always, just right. Julianne Moore (I was not previously familiar with her work) is astonishing. The look of the movie...the tone...the screenplay all work - as an adaptation of the novel and as a film unto itself. I do not understand why this movie did not garner more recognition. I strongly recommend it to those who have read the novel and those who have yet to experience Annie Proulx remarkable prose.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
A Newfoundlander's opinion Tone303
Does Agnes pour Quoyle's dad down the toilet? marniecunningham344
Why was this not better? ftmpc
book babebdoll630
White puffy pastry thing she feeds him.... akelly318
Annie Proulx should apologize. TheFlipbookMPC
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