6.8/10
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205 user 121 critic

The Shipping News (2001)

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

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Annie Proulx (based on the novel by) (as E. Annie Proulx), Robert Nelson Jacobs (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Spacey ... Quoyle
Julianne Moore ... Wavey Prowse
Judi Dench ... Agnis Hamm
Cate Blanchett ... Petal
Pete Postlethwaite ... Tert Card
Scott Glenn ... Jack Buggit
Rhys Ifans ... Beaufield Nutbeem
Gordon Pinsent ... Billy Pretty
Jason Behr ... Dennis Buggit
Larry Pine ... Bayonet Melville
Jeannetta Arnette ... Silver Melville
Robert Joy ... EMS Officer
Alyssa Gainer Alyssa Gainer ... Bunny Quoyle
Kaitlyn Gainer Kaitlyn Gainer ... Bunny Quoyle
Lauren Gainer Lauren Gainer ... Bunny Quoyle
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Dive Beneath The Surface See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 January 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atando cabos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$318,502, 23 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,434,216

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,256,225
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Miramax See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Newfoundland band Great Big Sea very much wanted to have music in the soundtrack, so they "seeded" the stereos in Director Lasse Hallström's and stars' B&B with their CDs, hoping that the music would catch their attention. It did, and the band has five songs in the movie, four in the diner scenes and one at the party. The songs are not contained in the movie's official soundtrack however, a film score composed by Christopher Young. See more »

Goofs

When Quoyle and Wavey are eating their boxed seal flipper pies, the grease stains on the boxes change from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Quoyle: [father teaching him literally to sink or swim]
[voice-over]
Quoyle: 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 »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Shipping News (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jolly Butcher
Traditional
Arranged by Sean McCann, Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett (as Robert Hallett) & Darrell Power
Performed by Great Big Sea
Courtesy of Warner Music Canada
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spacey and Hallstrom shine in a moving story
18 July 2002 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

Director Lasse Halstrom continues to prove himself to be outstanding at presenting sensitive human dramas with this touching film about a broken man's retreat to his ancestral roots. This poignant tale unwinds deliberately and delicately as each of the main characters shares his or her dark secrets buried in the past.

Halstrom is an inspired actors' director who entices outstanding performances from his troupe. He has a wonderful ability to make simple characters appear bigger than life. I continue to admire his unobtrusive presentation, forgoing ostentatious directorial stylizing in favor of simple shots that let the story and the characters dominate. The cinematography and choice of locations in this film are understated and lovely without the need for garishness.

The acting is superb. Kevin Spacey, as Quoyle, once again shows his range, taking on an emotionally crippled character that is quite unlike the confident and clever characters that jump off his resume. Spacey relinquishes all traces of the cockiness that is his trademark and brilliantly renders a pathetic nebbish whose greatest daily struggle is to overcome his own ennui. For Spacey to suppress his natural dynamism to slip this character on so effectively is a testimony to his excellence as an actor.

While this is clearly Spacey's film, the supporting cast of accomplished veterans weaves a splendid tapestry. Julianne Moore is excellent as Quoyle's love interest with a delicate portrayal of a character that is simultaneously supportive and insecure. Judi Dench is marvelous as Quoyle's crusty old aunt, who drags him back to Newfoundland to find himself among the ashes of his unseemly clan. Cate Blanchett is bodacious as the impulsive vamp who ravishes Quoyle and stays with him only long enough to give him a daughter. Scott Glenn is terrific as the cantankerous publisher of the local newspaper who turns Quoyle from a typesetter into a reporter.

This film is not for everyone. It is extremely deliberate and will fray the patience of the average viewer. However, for those who have a love of human interest stories with flawed but lovable characters, this will be a treat. I rated it a 9/10. It is a gem of human foibles and interactions that is moving and insightful.


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