Shipping News, The (2001) - Synopsis

"THE SHIPPING NEWS film is funny, beautiful, moving and witty. The virtuoso acting, intelligent attention to detail, and the stark and powerful Newfoundland landscape make a brilliant and unusual film that I didn't dream could be made. "

~Annie Proulx

Based on E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Shipping News chronicles a third-rate newspaperman's (Kevin Spacey) journey to self-discovery when he returns to his ancestral home on the coast of Newfoundland. A brooding and often comical portrait of the contemporary family, The Shipping News is a story about the triumphant transformation of an everyman as he seeks to rebuild his shattered life and mend his battered soul.

When Quoyle, a hapless, lonely upstate New Yorker, loses his estranged wife (Cate Blanchett) in a car accident, his life changes forever. Stricken with grief and longing, he retreats with his aunt (dame Judi Dench) and young daughter (Alyssa, Kaitlyn and Lauren Gainer) to Newfoundland, the mysterious home of his ancestors.

In the small fishing outport of Killick-Claw, Quoyle secures a job as a reporter at the local newspaper, The Gammy Bird. With each article he writes, Quoyle's sense of this quirky community sharpens, along with his sense of himself. Gradually, a romance develops with Wavey (Julianne Moore), a woman who lives with her own personal demons. As his new life unfolds in Newfoundland -- a place of magic, uncompromising beauty and hardship-- his past melds with his present and Quoyle is transformed.

Miramax Films presents a Winkler Films production, The Shipping News, a film by Academy Award-nominated director Lasse Hallström (cider House Rules, The (1999)).

The Shipping News stars Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, dame Judi Dench, Scott Glenn, Rhys Ifans, Jason Behr, Gordon Pinsent, with Pete Postlethwaite and Cate Blanchett. Hallström directs the film from a screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs (Chocolat (2000)), based upon the novel by E. Annie Proulx. The Shipping News is produced by Irwin Winkler, Goldstein Knowlton and Leslie Holleran. The co-producer is Diana Pokorny, with Michelle Raimo, Michele Platt and Steve Dunn serving as associate producers. Andrew Mondshein is the editor. The director of photography is Oliver Stapleton, B. S. C; the production designer is David Gropman. Renee Ehrlich Kalfus is the costume designer and Christopher Young is the composer.