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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2012)

Emily Blunt , Ewan McGregor , Lasse Hallström  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (534 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor
  • Directors: Lasse Hallström
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: CBS Films
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2017 (Click here for more information)
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (534 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0067EKY7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,459 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the beloved director of Chocolat and the Oscar®-winning screenwriter of Slumdog Millionaire (2008) comes the inspirational comedy Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. A visionary Sheikh (Amr Waked) 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 (Emily Blunt) to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor), who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) latches onto 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.

Lasse Hallström's breezy adaptation of Paul Torday's satiric novel, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, features dedicated anglers and arid Middle Eastern vistas, but it's a screwball comedy at heart (with Morocco standing in for Yemen). Bridget (Kristin Scott Thomas), the prime minister's steamroller of a press secretary, sets the story in motion when she reads about a fabulously wealthy sheik (Amr Waked) who longs to bring fly-fishing to the desert. She believes that cooperation with his country would be good for Britain's image, while the sheik has more altruistic goals in mind. This leads her to mild-mannered fisheries expert Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor, effectively cast against type), who feels certain the endeavor is pure fantasy until hyper-efficient Harriet (Emily Blunt), the sheik's land agent, brings him some surprising data about the region. Though Fred's marriage has been running on fumes, Harriet has been seeing a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. Initially, the two are all business as they devise a plan involving a system of dams, but their feelings for each other gradually rise to the surface. Just as their impossible dream appears to be coming true, a series of unexpected developments threatens to scupper the entire enterprise. The road to a mostly happy ending isn't without its potholes, but Hallström (Chocolat) and Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire) make it a trip worth taking. If their scenario prizes romance over politics, McGregor and Blunt mount a charm offensive too persuasive to resist. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Surprise February 13, 2012
The Yemen is a river in the country of Yemen, which occupies the south-western corner of the Arabian Peninsula. As we know, that entire middle-eastern area is hot, dry, and arid. In this Lasse Halstrom-directed dramedy, an oil-billionaire sheik from Yemen owns several estates in Scotland and has developed a fondness for fly fishing. He dreams of a way to bring the sport to his homeland and at the same time encourage his fellow countrymen to upgrade their way of life with an improved water supply.

We loved this cast (mostly) from the UK:
* Emily Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada") is the first person contacted by the sheik. Her job is to research the practicality of the idea and make a recommendation. To complicate matters, her fiancé is soon reported missing in (military) action in Afghanistan.
* Ewan McGregor ("Beginners") is a mid-level bureaucrat with a touch of Asperger's who loves fly fishing on weekends. When approached about the feasibility of this experiment, he makes outlandish demands, assuming that their cost will deter these foolish people. He is struck dumb when his demands are met, e.g., the engineers who designed the Three Gorges Dam in China.
* Kristen Scott Thomas ("Nowhere Boy") is a blunt, plain-spoken government official who can see the public relations advantages for news from the Mid-east that doesn't include the escalating price of petroleum or body bags. She is hilarious in this (initially) preposterous plot and provides many laugh-out-loud moments. You will LOVE her e-mails!
* Amr Waked ("The Father and the Foreigner") is the fabulously wealthy sheik with the dream. It's obvious that he is intelligent and has already studied the situation.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a hard film to categorize. Directed by Lasse Hallström, with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy adapted from the novel of the same name by Paul Torday, you could nominally call it a romantic comedy, but it's actually far more than that. A character-driven human comedy about faith, passion and fishing comes closer. Add in an absolutely scene-stealing performance by Kristin Scott Thomas as the Prime Minister's take-no-prisoners get-it-done-yesterday! press secretary and you've got Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

The film begins with Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor), the British government's leading expert on fisheries, receiving an inquiry about the feasibility of introducing salmon fishing to the Yemen. Jones quickly dismisses the possibility, responding that it is simply impossible for salmon - a fish that thrives in cold fresh-water streams found in northern latitudes - to survive in a hot and arid environment like the Yemen. The inquiry, it turns out, came from Harriet Chetwood-Talbot (Emily Blunt), a consultant for a company that manages properties for a very wealthy client, Sheikh Muhammad (Amr Waked) from the Yemen. The Sheikh has a vision of salmon fishing, which he became familiar with due to his having an estate in Scotland, as not only a way to create much needed jobs for his people, but also as a way of bringing people together. Undeterred by Jones' initial rejection and buoyed by the persuasive Sheikh's belief in his vision, Harriet persists in pushing for a feasibility study, which Jones continues to dismiss. Until, that is, the project comes to the attention of the Prime Minister's press secretary, the highly formidable and relentless Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas).
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First, shut down your critical faculties..... March 18, 2012
If you're going to see this delightful movie, the first thing you need to do is to shut down your critical faculties. Don't ask questions about the state of Ewan McGregor's marriage, or the logic of moving thousands of salmon, or the likelihood of a woman hugging an Arab sheikh in a Muslim country, or the ease with which people travel long distances, and so forth. It doesn't matter because the gentle tone of the movie - even with the satirical edge of Kristin Scott Thomas' extremely obnoxious but funny Assistant to the Prime Minister - just carries you away. It's sweet, it's charming, it's not cloying and it definitely draws you in to the story. This is the first movie I've been in a long time where the character of a Scot is a key plot element. [What was the name of the wonderful one years ago with Peter Resier (?) and Burt Lancaster as Texans looking for oil off the cost of Scotland?] Ewan McGregor gets to use his own Scots accent and is just wonderful and appealing in his role. Emily Blunt is also good, as she rolls with the plot.

If you're in the mood for a lovely, gently comic, romantic movie, this is the one.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, But Sluggish Romantic Drama July 11, 2012
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is directed by Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat," "The Cider House Rules"). A visionary sheik (Amy Waked) believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fly 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, Harriet (Emily Blunt), to turn his dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert, Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who thinks the project is both absurd and unachievable. When British government publicist Patricia Maxwell (Kristin Scott Thomas) champions it as a good-will story, however, the unlikely team puts everything on the line to prove the impossible is possible.

Metaphorically, the movie contains the message that we can find our oases no matter the desert. Also resonating is that, with unlimited resources, the wildest, craziest dream can be pursued, if not fully realized. McGregor and Blunt are the film's best ingredients. Both have charm, and it's fun to watch the scientifically oriented Dr. Jones become immersed in politics as a romance with Harriet blossoms. However, the film drags for long stretches until a satisfactory final act. There are two bonus featurettes.
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