Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

More than being really good or really bad, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is really unusual—in the sense that there’s nothing cinematic about the story, and no obvious reason it needs to exist. Ewan McGregor plays a fishing expert for the British government whose services are acquired by a Yemeni sheik; the sheik wants to, as the title suggests, fish for salmon in the desert. Impossible! McGregor’s bureaucrat strikes up a relationship with the sheik’s emissary, played by Emily Blunt, even though on the surface, that seems like a bigger upstream swim than exporting Atlantic salmon. This film was written by Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and directed by Lasse Hallström, neither of whom, despite their impressive résumés, apparently had better stories to tell.

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