The Shipping News

The Shipping News




This movie looked good. It has good pedigree. Kevin Spacey. Julianne Moore. Judi Dench. Lasse Hallstrom at the helm. And Oliver Stapleton’s crisp cinematography over the beautiful landscape of Newfoundland  immediately seemed to aim to please. And the movie started off quirkily enough.

But, uhhh…

It just didn’t add up to much more than the pretty picture that drew me in. The film went to weird places it didn’t seem to care to fully explore or even justify the usage of.

Kevin Spacey as a lost man who travels back to his roots is good as always. And the film had me in the beginning. And when he gets a gig as a newspaper writer I dug the environment and the feel. Rhys Ifans as Beaufield Nutbeem can’t be beaten.

And part of the reason this was such a cool place to hang out was, again, because of Lasse Hallstrom and his utilization of Oliver Stapleton.

So, if you’re totaling the score, Stapleton seems to be faultless in my book.

But, why Cate Blanchett? I don’t believe her. I don’t like her in it. She doesn’t much make sense. How much of this is Hallstrom’s fault is debatable (probably his fault in the casting process, in my opinion).

I don’t know. It ain’t bad. It just ain’t too good either. If it’s on TV, and you’ve got some laundry to fold, you’ll see some beautiful landscapes, meet some cool fishermen and news people, and not be too worse for the wear. But, to seek it out…I suggest going to the source: go to Newfoundland!

NOTE: If you pay close attention, I liked the cinematography a lot in this film. Another film that looked beautiful was “Brokeback Mountain,” a movie that I said was only groundbreaking because Heath Ledger’s part was played by a man rather than a woman (in other words, the film is basically a pedestrian romance aside from this). I stated that at least it was shot beautifully, to which my friend replied: “Look at where they shot it! No matter what they did it would look beautiful!” I don’t know how much I agree with this statement, but I do know that Annie Proulx, who wrote “Brokeback” also wrote “The Shipping News,” so next time they go to turn her words into imagery, cinematographers take note! She seems to write about beautiful places that will just make your work look that much better.

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