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
When Quoyle first picks up Petal at the gas station in the early '90s, there is a much later model car in the parking lot behind Quoyle's car. See more »
[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.
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I was very impressed with The Shipping News for several reasons: the location should win an Oscar alone, Hallstrom's magical minimalist direction and the acting by the major leads and perhaps even more wonderful, by the many minor parts, were outstanding.
The beauty of the story, involving as it does many all-to-familiar dramas that are easily recognized by people anywhere, was used as a springboard to explore a little known area of the world and to bring much needed illumination on rarely discussed social problems.
To actually see such a beautiful movie shot on location in the magnificent surrounds of Newfoundland should lead film makers away from the sterility of southern California and the too-used streets of New York. I guess I've had my fill of movies about what Hollywood has been dishing out and I've gotten thoroughly jaded with virtually everything made by them.
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