Academy Award(R)-winning stars Kevin Spacey (AMERICAN BEAUTY, Best Actor, 1998) and Judi Dench (SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Best Supporting Actress, 1998) join talents with Julianne Moore (HANNIBAL) and Cate Blanchett (THE LORD O... more »F THE RINGS) in this deeply moving motion picture from the director of CHOCOLAT and THE CIDER HOUSE RULES. After tragedy strikes, Quoyle (Spacey) moves with his daughter from upstate New York to his ancestral home in a small Newfoundland fishing village. With a job at the local newspaper and developing romance with a woman (Moore) who lives with her own demons, Quoyle is transformed by this place of magic, beauty, and hardship. In a compelling story based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Quoyle's past melds with his present in an inspirational journey of self-discovery and second chances.« less
Edith J. from ATASCADERO, CA Reviewed on 5/28/2011...
I really liked this movie, good script, great cast. But that is only my opinion :)
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Elizabeth G. (MissEliza) from CLINTON, MA Reviewed on 6/20/2009...
This one was OK. Kevin spacey and Julianne Moore have always been favorites of mine
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Frank E. (realartist) from HENDERSONVLLE, NC Reviewed on 1/20/2009...
If derive pleasure from kicking wimpy men around, making an utter fool of them, you'll love this. This has to be Kevin Spacey's most humiliating and sickening screen performance in his dubious career. Judi Dench played such a sadistic, neurotic and chronic emasculator, I have avoided every movie from then on with her appearancein it.
0 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Alice H. (singlegalkansas) from TOPEKA, KS Reviewed on 1/20/2009...
I enjoyed this movie and liked it a lot.
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
My life as a dog......
Dianne Foster | USA | 01/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although many recollect CHOCOLAT as Lass Hallstrom's "classic" film, longtime fans are more likely to connect THE SHIPPING NEWS with his earlier film MY LIFE AS A DOG. Hallstrom has a gift for eliciting excellent performances from children and oddballs living in northern climates. Like Ingmar in the older "foreign" film from Sweden, Quoyle has much to learn about being an adult.THE SHIPPING NEWS is a beautiful psychological study about the transformation of a damaged man into a whole human being. NEWS reinforces the truth most of us already know -- unconditional love can heal. The most telling line of the story is spoken by Juliette Moore when she says that when she was at her lowest point, the people in her Newfoundland village lifted her up with their love.I read THE SHIPPING NEWS (which one the Pulitzer) and I laughed until I cried. It is probably the most humorous book I have ever read. I took my husband who had not read the book with me to see the film and he said about 20 minutes into the film, I sure hope this thing gets happier. Those who have read NEWS know that the beginning is a bit sad but Annie Proulx makes Quoyle's travails hysterically funny. There are some funny moments in the film, and the film is quite faithful to the book, but the film is not the book, and it is not quite as funny. Words on the page do not always translate easily to film. Still, Hallstrom and his multi-talented cast have done a wonderful job which is why I have given the film 5 stars. Judy Dench is clearly "on loan" from her portrayal of Iris Murdock where you can see her in IRIS beginning in mid-January. Her enactment of Quoyle's Aunt Agnes Hamm is quite accurate -- at least she matches the picture I formed in my head when I read NEWS. Juliette Moore is perfect as Quoyle's love interest. I love Kevin Spacey, but this is not my favorite Spacy role. He definintly plays against type in this film. As Quoyle, his charcter is closer to the fellow he played in THE USUSAL SUSPECTS than the suave con man he plays in LA CONFIDENTIAL, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF EVIL, SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, or GLEN GARRY GLEN ROSS. If you ONLY like the smart sophisticated Spacy you may be a bit disappointed. When Spacey won his OSCAR for best actor, he said "Thank you Jack Lemmon where ever you are." You'll find the ghost of Jack Lemmon in THE SHIPPING NEWS."
Alyssa A. Lappen | Earth | 01/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rarely does a movie adhere to a book's story as well as Shipping News does to Annie Proulx' sparkling literary masterpiece, a novel about time, place, traditions and love. The big lump of a main character, Quoyle, a sad, pathetic man (Kevin Spacey) is defined by a metaphor deftly recreated in this film: He cannot swim. As the movie opens, we find that he cannot do much of anything else either. The inksetter for a Poughkeepsie newspaper drives into a gas station in the pouring rain and witnesses a lovers' quarrel between the driver and passenger in the first car. He doesn't get gas. A split-second courtship instigated by Petal (Cate Blanchett) saddles Quoyle with a disastrous marriage--and his child, Bunny--and ends more disastrously than it began. But Quoyle, lump that he is, unwinds after Petal leaves the picture and his parents die.Quoyle's Aunt Agnes arrives, ostensibly to pay her respects, but with a caper in mind. Our befuddled man Quoyle leaves with her for his family's dilapidated homestead on Newfoundland's Quoyle point. The house, tied down with steel stays, appears like the ruin of Quoyle's life, and as the story unfolds it becomes clear that the sense of ruin plaguing him may be familial.But Quoyle surprises viewers and himself as he reclaims his life. Hired to cover car accidents, he earns the respect of the paper's cranky fisherman owner, Jack Buggit, who shocks the staff when he assigns Quoyle a weekly column on the shipping news. Quoyle has no experience, but he his new friends teach him to think in headlines, providing welcome comic relief.Like parents everywhere, Quoyle finds a friend in another parent, Wavey (Julianne Moore). The friendship takes several interesting turns.Quoyle is haunted by flashbacks of his own life, and to events that occurred before he was born. The film's triumph, like that of Proulx' book, is in Quoyle's steadfast determination to overcome these seemingly insurmountable odds. The film's Newfoundland (like that in the book) appears dead. But as Quoyle lays the past to rest, both he and the town come to life.Lasse Hallström aptly directed this film, whose score provides delight on a par with Quoyle's Shipping News headlines. Alyssa A. Lappen"
Quoyle is a man who bravely takes charge of his life
David Thomson | Houston, TX USA | 01/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) is a middle age man lacking in self esteem who is living a banal and unrewarding existence. One is reminded of Thomas Hobbes' famous aphorism that men often are doomed to endure lives of quiet desperation. He falls in love with Petal Bear (Cate Blanchett) only hours after they meet who does nothing to hide her manipulative dark side. They have a daughter Bunny and this selfish woman proves totally lacking in compassion and loyalty to the both of them. The movie industry has rarely put on the screen a more despicable mother in its entire history. It is regretful that Blanchett will not likely receive an Academy Award nomination for her too short time in this film. The very promiscuous Petal Bear is ultimately found dead in a car accident with a new boy friend. Quoyle's Aunt Agnis (Judi Dench) entices him and Bunny to move back to their ancestral home located in Newfoundland. This is a part of Canada that the tourists make sure they don't visit. Summertime in May is dreary and the life of the locals indeed echoes the previously cited Hobbes as awful, brutish, and short. Death seems to constantly be lurking in the water and on the treacherously icy roads. People do not aspire to financial affluence, but a life that is barely one step ahead of grinding poverty. The publisher of " The Shipping News" Jack Buggit (admirably performed by Scott Glenn) offers Quoyle a job as a reporter, a position that our protagonist appears totally unqualified to handle. Lo and behold, however, Quoyle admirably grows into his new employment responsibilities and begins the process of evolving into a man of respect and dignity. A mother with a mentally impaired young son drifts into Quoyle's life. Julianne More portrays Wavey in a manner lacking authenticity. Never for a moment does she come across as a woman whose only option is to remain in such an abysmally hopeless environment.Quoyle eventually finds out that it sometimes might not be best to learn about the past. His family tree is filled with dysfunctional and evil members. Nonetheless, these scenes of Quoyle finding his roots make the film worth while. I have not read the novel "The Shipping News" is based upon. Therefore, I can only speak about what is actually on the screen. This film doesn't deserve a five star rating, but it's sufficiently good that I recommend all Kevin Spacey fans make a point of seeing it. Spacey is one of the premier actors of his era, and by himself virtually guarantees an enjoyable movie going experience. He once again delivers the goods."
How to rewrite your life--with help from friends.
D. Ruiz | Sacramento, CA United States | 08/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is a small, quirky character study with not much plot. This is my favorite kind of movie, but if it's not yours, you may hate this film.The acting here is all first rate. Kevin Spacey's character is more subdued but less bleak than the one he played in "American Beauty." Quoyle (Spacey) comes into adulthood a beaten-down, invisible lump, but life gives him a daughter to love, a job he becomes good at, a woman he can relate to as a friend (Julianne Moore), a family member (Judi Dench) who is encouraging to him, and a place to belong (Newfoundland). He is not so broken that he can't appreciate all this, so his transformation from lump to human being is believable, not schmaltzy or feel-good miraculous. I particularly enjoyed Quoyle's interior headline-writing as commentary on his life. It added a touch of ironic humor to the film.Julianne Moore is brilliant and very different than I've seen her before. Here, she is strong, but sensitive and a little scared of another relationship with a man. She and Spacey stumble believably and amusingly in getting to know each other. Her affection for his daughter is an important element in his transformation.Dench plays Spacey's aunt, one of the supporting characters, and does not dominate on screen as she usually does. This is okay because this is not her story, it's Quoyle's (Spacey's). However, the aunt is important in giving Quoyle a sense of family history and a connection to Newfoundland, where the aunt, Quoyle and his daughter go to live.Cate Blanchett undoubtedly had fun playing Quoyle's bad girl wife and the mother of his child. She has more range and screen presence than any actress of her generation. Her place in this story is as a harmful influence on Quoyle and his daughter, badly twisting both of their self-images, but her impact is believable and pivotal to their (the father and daughter's) relationship.The other supporting characters, his daughter and the men at the newspaper office where Quoyle works, are all fine. Rhys Ifans (Hugh Grant's roommate in "Nottinghill") is warm and funny as Quoyle's buddy at the paper.The scenery of Newfoundland very much controls the mood of the film. It's beautiful, but scary and daunting. So is life. Both can be appreciated and enjoyed if you accept what is and build on that for the future.It's a wonderful movie. I highly recommend it."
Newfoundland on the Silver Screen...
Jonathan Burgoine | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 12/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From the music, to the accents, to the absolutely beautiful cinematography, this movie had me travelling to Newfoundland from the moment the characters drove toward it.
Kevin Spacey had very little to work with in a character that was written so very internally, and he brought what little light there was to Quoyle right out through his eyes. The man is the king of the smouldering look, and Moore plays her role with a quiet reserve that likewise is carried mostly by gesture, stance, and expression. This is not a verbal movie, not an audio experience in the slightest: this is a visual experience, where body language usually matters much more than not.
Sets, weather, and the ever-present character of the Ocean itself all stir together in this movie. With fade-ins and flashbacks of skill woven into a theme of regeneration and restoration, there is a thread of humour and kindness to this movie that had more than one person in the audience sniffly, myself included.
The daughter had a real screen presence, and is a child actress with skill I think we'll be seeing more often. If the movie itself has any failings, it's that it tried to stay as wide as the novel, and as such, some minor plotlines got nearly no screen time, where they might have been better removed, allowing more time for more central characters (especially that of Aunt Agnis, played by Judi Dench to perfection).
I highly reccommend the movie, most centrally for its beautiful visual scenery, and gentle handling of nonverbal language to portray the emotions involved. The cast of characters managed a story that wasn't spoken, and the impact wasn't lost at all. Newfoundland has never looked so wonderful on the silver screen.