Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Poster for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Spring 2012 Features series

Sunday, May 13, 2012 at 8:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Lasse Hallström

Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Based on the book by Paul Torday

Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked, Emily Blunt, and Ewan McGregor

Rated PG · 1h 47m
United Kingdom

View trailer

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

A Special Presentation at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is the latest film from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Lasse Hallström (The Shipping News, Chocolat). Adapted from Paul Torday’s bestselling novel of the same name, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen tells the remarkable story of an unlikely hero who finds himself a victim in a political plot, discovers love and learns to believe in the impossible.

Ewan McGregor (Beginners, The Ghost Writer) stars as Fred Jones, a fisheries expert and academic who toils away for the British government. When he is approached by the beautiful, young Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt, Wild Target, The Young Victoria) with a proposal to introduce salmon into the waterways of Yemen, he laughs off the scheme, claiming it impossible. Harriet represents an amiable and benevolent sheikh who fulfills his love of salmon fishing on frequent visits to his estate in the Scottish highlands. The sheikh believes that fishing creates a spiritual connection between humans and nature, and bringing the sport to his country would benefit his people.

While Fred ponders the idea, the proposal catches the ear of the British Prime Minister’s spokesperson, Bridget Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas, Sarah’s Key, Love Crime). Desperate to detract attention from a political scandal, Bridget sees Harriet’s idea as the perfect opportunity to promote what will appear to be a heartfelt story of British goodwill in the Middle East.

Despite Fred’s protests, he soon finds himself working on a project that seems not only frivolous but absolutely unfeasible in the arid land of Yemen. As the mission begins to succeed, Fred grows closer to Harriet, and despite the many obstacles that stand in the way of their romance, their relationship affords an unexpected and welcome sense of hope for two lonely individuals.

Beautifully shot, masterfully directed with a tight and tender screenplay (Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire), Hallström brings Salmon Fishing in the Yemen to life as a delightful adventure, one in which theories and doubts are swept aside by a belief in the unattainable.

The film’s emotional complexities don’t allow for much of the canned sentiment that normally gets dished out in romantic dramas; what emerges instead, over several reels, is endearingly tender and complicated. (Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle)