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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

by Vladimir Kozlov at 29/03/2012 20:00

Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallstrom, known for such movies as “The Cider House Rules,” “Chocolat” and “The Shipping News,” has kept a lower profile for the last few years. But any new film by the Swedish-born director is worth checking out, and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” is no exception.

Based on a novel of the same name by Paul Torday, this British romantic comedy-drama is centered on an attempt to bring the sport of f ly-fishing to the desert. Britain’s leading fish expert Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is approached by Harriet (Emily Blunt), a consultant to Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked), with the desert fishing idea, which is supposed to be a realization of the sheikh’s vision. The immediate reaction of Jones, who, incidentally, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, is to dismiss the project as absurd and unfeasible. However, when the prime minister’s overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) gets involved, the project is put on the line and the unlikely team embark on a journey to the highlands of Yemen in a bid to implement a seemingly impossible mission.

The movie premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Its critical reception was mainly positive. According to a writer for McClatchy-Tribune News Service, “this cast, this director and this writer make it all come off, as unlikely a delight as the very fishy story it is built on.”

“Even the characters who are only briefly on-screen are memorable and funny,” added a reviewer for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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