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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 April 2012 (UK)
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A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Simon Beaufoy, Paul Torday (novel)
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Popularity
3,946 ( 245)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amr Waked ... Sheikh Muhammed
Emily Blunt ... Harriet
Catherine Steadman ... Ashley
Tom Mison ... Capt. Robert Mayers
Ewan McGregor ... Dr. Alfred Jones
Rachael Stirling ... Mary Jones
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Patricia Maxwell
Tom Beard ... Peter Maxwell
Jill Baker ... Betty
Conleth Hill ... Bernard Sugden
Alex Taylor-McDowall ... Edward Maxwell
Matilda White Matilda White ... Abby Maxwell
Otto Farrant ... Joshua Maxwell
Hamish Gray Hamish Gray ... Malcolm
Clive Wood ... Tom Price-Williams
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Storyline

A visionary sheik believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary latches on to it as a 'good will' story. Now, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

salmon | fishing | fish | desert | dam | See All (255) »

Taglines:

Make the impossible possible.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Arabic | Mandarin

Release Date:

20 April 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Un amor imposible See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$225,894, 11 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,025,107, 3 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The khanjar or jambiyya (the curved daggers carried in the belt by many of the Yemenis in the movie) are the Omani style; typically in Yemen the sheath is much narrower and highly curved at the tip. Also, normally they are only worn at formal occasions with national dress - similar to sgian dubh in Scotland. See more »

Goofs

When the dam opens it floods the fish tank. The fish tank should be above the dam as the fish swim upstream. If the fish were below the dam, flooded as in movie, they could not migrate upstream.

Since the lake formed above the dam was created from underground aquifers (as stated in the movie) there can be no streams running into the lake and thus no way for the fish to run up stream. Salmon run in flowing streams and the water from the lake provides that. See more »

Quotes

[Harriet explains to Dr. Jones that salmon fishing in the Yemen is possible and wins the debate]
Dr. Alfred Jones: Water.
Harriet: For the fish?
Dr. Alfred Jones: No, for me.
Harriet: Of course.
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Alternate Versions

For the American theatrical release, references to the supermarket chain Tesco were dubbed over and replaced with Target. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Dances from Broken Consort
From Thomas Morley First Book of Consort (2005 Digital Remaster)
Performed by Early Music Consort of London/David Munrow
Licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
31 March 2012 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

With a title like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, it's either a story about the impossible, or that which deals with fishing. It's thankfully the former which makes it a little more engaging and less of a focus on what could be a solitary activity, and a romance-comedy-drama that centers about the theme of hope, even though this British film has plenty of elements to keep one entertained, especially the good ol British wit and humour that comes fast and furious when the need calls for it.

Directed by Lasse Hallstrom whose last film was an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' Dear John, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is based on the novel by Paul Torday, that tells the unlikely romance that sparked between Dr Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) and investment consultant Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) while working on a theoretically possible project funded by a rich Yemeni Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked). Dr Jones, the bureaucrat stuck in a dead end job and happily coasting along in spite of having useless superiors, is the initial skeptic, preferring the status quo than to question and set challenges for himself, being the expert on fishing and a mean fly-fisher himself, while Harriet is that can-do go-getting consultant who doesn't take no for an answer, herself in a sub story arc involving a British soldier sent to the frontlines in Afghanistan.

Together, they work under a programme mooted by the Sheikh to bring salmon fishing to his country, which of course has plenty of detractors especially from extremists who see this as a waste of resources spent on infidel activities involving the West, especially so since Kristin Scott-Thomas' thrash talking Bridget Maxwell, the publicist for 10 Downing Street, sees it as opportunity to raise the Anglo-Yemeni friendship and profile. The character of Bridget Maxwell is probably the one bringing in most of the laughs for her potty mouth ways, with expletives almost always finding their way into her communications, verbal, over the internet, or otherwise, and you'd wonder just how the Prime Minister's Office could have survived one PR disaster after another.

Most of the narrative circled around the friendship and relations formed between the trio of Dr Jones, Harriet and the Sheikh, developing bonds that wouldn't have existed if not for this 50 million pounds project. It's not as if it is about those with plenty of oil money and finding themselves not knowing what to do with it, but about the spreading of far larger ideals that go into community bonding. And the romantic tale almost felt like an after thought into the second half, finding it irresistible not to have now fellow colleagues fall in love because it's a waste of good looking talent not to. There isn't any threat in the film to put things in a spin other than the battle against nature and elements that get systematically addressed, and extremists who don't get air time lest this film gets spun into a war on terror story, aside from an assassination and sabotage attempt.

It's been too long since Ewan McGregor played an Englishman, and one with impeccable manners at that, which is something his character will strike you from the onset, minding his Ps and his Qs, with the penchant for the prim and the proper. The subplot involving a slowly estranged wife was something seen coming since it stood in the way of a possible relationship with Emily Blunt's Harriet, and essentially is a weak point in the narrative that could have been done without, since it added little emotional depth to the plot. Harriet on the other hand had an equally tit-for-tat plot arc that also didn't do wonders for the story, and together they made it feel as if there was a need to throw each character into their respective romance (or lack thereof) arcs with someone else until work got in the way. It didn't help of course when Kristin Scott-Thomas was in her element being cast against type.

ultimately it's a feel good movie about hope and that leap of faith, so long as someone is funding a dream to fruition or failure. The more important central arc of fulfilling the titular dream was the most engaging, with sub plots being nothing more than a distraction that didn't offer any emotional depth, and padded the story to a feature length one. Thankfully there's comedy thrown in now and then, otherwise this would really have been like a solo fishing trip and attempt that calls for plenty of patience for something to finally bite.


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