Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, stars Ewan McGregor as Fred Jones, a fisheries expert who is approached by Harriet (Emily Blunt) with a plan to introduce salmon into the waterways of Yemen. 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. But as the mission begins, they soon find that hope can spring—even in the most unexpected places!
Written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire), directed by Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) and featuring hilarious performances from the stellar cast, Salmon Fishing is an unmissable tale of overcoming the odds!
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