Shipping news

Watching ships makes me feel like a cosmopolite. Ocean makes us open minded. But some people never cross the ocean. They always stay at the coast, watching ships go by.
Pilot, coming on board
I’ve been amused as I read the book of Annie ProulxSHIPPING NEWS“. I enjoyed the movie as well. Then tried to write a review for Annie Proulx, she has a very much endowed vein for fine-intimately spoken humor. Her novel SHIPPING NEWS won the Pulitzer Prize. The Swedish director Lasse Hallström (“The Cider House Rules“, “What’s eating Gilbert Grape” and “Chocolat”) brought it full of genius to screen. It is a MUST to see the scene, where the ancestors of Quoyle (Kevin Spacey) are pulling by rope their house across the ice. The pictures shot on location (Killick-Claw, a Newfoundland harbor town) are simply wonderful. But at first you have to endure the coming in-chapter: a bad life in New York, where Quoyle is overwhelmed by hussy type Petal (Cate Blanchett), a wild, hot-blooded woman, wearing a ton of make-up and short rubber mini-skirts, always looking for excitement with good time guys and honky-tonks, by whom Quoyle has a child, Bunny. Petal soon dies in a car crash with one of her boyfriends, short after Bunny was sold by her to a black-market child adoption ring for six thousand dollars. Moreover Quoyle’s parents commit suicide. In this terrible situation (daughter Bunny is found by police) Aunt Agnes Hamm (Judi Dench) appears and Quoyle is convinced by her to move to their ancestral home on the Newfoundland coast. Quoyle takes a job as a reporter for the local newspaper The Gammy Bird and starts to rebuild his life, though the weight of an awful past bears down. Encouraged by the publisher Jack Buggit (Scott Glenn) and by Wavey Prowse (Julianne Moore), the owner of a day care center, Quoyle has to change his loser-life fighting against his demons and the demons of his ancestors. Also Aunt Angie or the “widow” Wavey have their nightmares, but together they get all problems under control. For example the mobbing of an oil-tanker-adoring journalist (Pete Postlethwaite) or getting overboard without a life-belt or losing the house tethered on a storm-wracked cliff during a heavy, cathartic storm. (And at the side there is a romance between Quoyle’s daughter Bunny and Moore’s son, who suffered brain damage during birth.) Spacey and Moore are wonderful as they, at her lowest point, try to overcome their damaged hearts and love once more. So they all recover from the terrors of their past lives, especially Quoyle’s transformation from passive victim into a whole human being is heart-felt. It is good to see films like that, just a shame there is not more.  – – – read more reviews at Annie Proulx: “Shipping News”

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