: : : The Shipping News

Story

Fans of Lasse Hallström's truffle, Chocolat, may enjoy the director's subsequent novel adaptation, the emotionally charged Shipping News. The opening sequence introduces us to the bumbling Quoyle (Kevin Spacey), an ink setter at the Poughkeepsie News; his hedonistic wife Petal Bear (Cate Blanchett); and their daughter Bunny. But we hardly get to meet the characters, much less connect with them, in the fewer than eight minutes allotted for the scene. Before you know it, Petal is dead in a car wreck, Quoyle's parents have committed suicide, and Quoyle and Bunny are headed off with Quoyle's aunt Agnis (Judi Dench) to start over in a small Newfoundland port town. As the main story ensues--Quoyle's transformation from passive victim to sensitive lover and eloquent columnist--the subplot of his sordid family history and his aunt's search for healing seems contrived and lifeless. While Julianne Moore, as the widow Wavey, gives a solid performance as Quoyle's love interest, Spacey's performance is uneven, never convincingly at sea enough to reward Quoyle's ultimate self-discovery. As with so many films adapted from novels, The Shipping News fails to embark confidently enough upon its own course to keep off the rocks. --Fionn Meade

Cast

Kevin SpaceyQuoyle
Julianne MooreWavey Prowse
Judi DenchAgnis Hamm
Cate BlanchettPetal
Pete PostlethwaiteTert Card
Scott GlennJack Buggit
Rhys IfansBeaufield Nutbeem
Gordon PinsentBilly Pretty
Jason BehrDennis Buggit
Larry PineBayonet Melville
Jeannetta ArnetteSilver Melville
Robert JoyEMS Officer

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Lasse Hallström
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 111 min
  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaJan 11, 2002
    EuropeMar 1, 2002
    JapanMar 23, 2002
    AustraliaFeb 7, 2002
  • Ratings
    North AmericaR
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
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