The Shipping News (film)

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The Shipping News
The Shipping News film.jpg
Directed by Lasse Hallström
Produced by Rob Cowan
Leslie Holleran
Irwin J. Winkler
Screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs
Based on The Shipping News 
by Annie Proulx
Starring Kevin Spacey
Julianne Moore
Judi Dench
Cate Blanchett
Music by Christopher Young
Cinematography Oliver Stapleton
Edited by Andrew Mondshein
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • December 18, 2001 (2001-12-18)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Box office $24,405,825

The Shipping News is a 2001 drama film directed by Lasse Hallström, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Shipping News by Annie Proulx.

It stars Kevin Spacey as the protagonist Quoyle, Judi Dench as Agnis Hamm, and Julianne Moore as Wavey Prowse. It also stars Pete Postlethwaite, Scott Glenn, Rhys Ifans, Cate Blanchett, Jason Behr, and Gordon Pinsent.


Quoyle's father tosses him into water, expecting him to naturally swim.The film, while broadly following the plot of the book, makes several changes, notably: Quoyle was obese and had two daughters in the novel, but only one in the film. He's only a timid ink setter in the film and he does not begin writing as a brave reporter until after arriving in Newfoundland; Different also is a number of characters, such as the younger Buggit family, were deleted or merged.

The story climaxes with a storm which destroys the Quoyle's ancestral family home, and the Gammy Bird's editor Jack Buggit, caught in the rope of a lobster pot while fishing, is believed drowned. His body is recovered, but he is actually in a deep state of shock resulting from hypothermia, and appears to be dead. He regains consciousness during his wake at his home in front of mourners, central to the theme of rebirth in the optimistic ending of the story.



The film earned mixed reviews from critics, earning it a 56% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus stating: "Though solidly made and acted, The Shipping News is rather heavy-handed and dull, especially given the nature of its protagonist."

Quoyle Point and Killick-Claw[edit]

Quoyle Point is a fictional point of land on the Newfoundland coast bearing the family name of the protagonist in both the book and the movie. The actual town used for "Killick-Claw" in the movie was New Bonaventure in the Trinity Bight area of Newfoundland. This area is home to approximately 2,000 Newfoundlanders, most of whom are descendants of 18th-century settlers from England's West Country, the Channel Islands and Southeast Ireland.

In the movie, Quoyle Point is a remote, spectacular site with a cove and dramatic cliffs. There is a desolate, weathered green house on the point, the old family home of the Quoyles. At some time in the past, the house had been dragged across the sea-ice from a neighboring island and cabled to the ground at the four corners to protect it from being blown away.

The film crew pre-built the green house on a stage in Halifax, Nova Scotia, disassembled it, transported it via ferry to Newfoundland, and then reassembled it piece-by-piece on 'Quoyle Point,' using snowmobiles so as not to disturb the natural location. All traces of it were removed at the end of filming.




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