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The Shipping News

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Pete Postlethwaite
  • Directors: Lasse Hallström
  • Writers: Annie Proulx, Robert Nelson Jacobs
  • Producers: Bob Weinstein, Diana Pokorny, Harvey Weinstein, Irwin Winkler, Leslie Holleran
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: June 18, 2002
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (215 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000640VK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,714 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Shipping News" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

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 OF 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.

Customer Reviews

It is good to see films like that, just a shame there is not more.
As a film, it has been dramatized and life breathed into the stories by the excellent actors, screenwriter, and director.
California Will
Outstanding performances from Judi Dench, Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore and Cate Blanchett.
Carole A. Lessard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Foster HALL OF FAME on January 1, 2002
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.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen VINE VOICE on January 4, 2002
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.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By David Thomson on January 1, 2002
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.
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