Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +1

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas, Amr Waked. Comedy, Foreign. Written by Simon Beaufoy. Directed by Lasse Hallström.

FILM SYNOPSIS: A visionary sheikh has a big dream -- to bring salmon fishing to the desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn his dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert, who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary latches on for its potential 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.

PREVIEW REVIEW: I’m afraid its title may fail to entice movie-goers; one of its stars is Kristin Scott Thomas, who too often plays cold and aloof a little too well, and the first 15 minutes worth of exposition failed to grab me. We’re not off to a good start. Ah, but once the sheikh (Amr Waked) is introduced, the picture comes together, bringing out character in our two leads and adding spiritual dimension to the story. Suddenly, it’s funnier, with the touching moments helped along by the talented Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt, and from the sheikh’s introduction on, the story captivates with its themes of hope and faith.

At one point the two leads see Arabs bowed in prayer, causing them to reflect on how they haven’t attended church in years. “I don’t know anybody who goes to church. On Sunday, we go to Target,” says the McGregor character. That’s a sad commentary for a nation abundant in houses of worship. And after the sheikh introduces the subject of the need for faith, the two Americans begin to understand the concept of and need for believing in things unseen.

If you can overlook some brief language or brief casual sexuality (nothing graphic), which seems to be used to reflect the secular nature of the West, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a satisfying movie-going experience.

Lasse Hallstrom delivers a beautiful story where a little bit of hope and faith makes the impossible possible! Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt are captivating together!

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: CBS Films

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual references toward the beginning of the film.
Obscene Language: Four or five obscenities and a few minor expletives
Profanity: Three misuses of Jesus’ name; the comic villainess says “Oh my God” a couple of times.
Violence: Terrorists attempt to shoot the sheikh and extremists blow up a dam; an American soldier is reportedly killed in Afghanistan.
Sexual Intercourse: Two sexual situations, one after just one date, but the scene cuts away, avoiding any graphic display or nudity.
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Brief drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Up

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