March 2, 2013

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas

Movie awards shows serve three main purposes, as far as I can tell:
  1. To promote the movie industry itself, by making people (like me) feel the inexplicable need to watch all the nominated and/or winning movies.
  2. To rake in lots of money - by having people go watch more movies (see #1) and by all the ad revenue from each of the 3 hour-long shows.
  3. To acknowledge good performances by actors.
And yes, I believe those motives rank in that exact order. That being said, sometimes it is helpful to avid movie-watchers such as myself. For instance, the Golden Globes introduced me to this otherwise unknown movie with a somewhat off-putting title.

The movie is really cute. I almost feel badly describing it as such because I feel like good romantic comedy-type movies always get described as "cute" or "charming", whereas dramas get more sophisticated adjectives attached to them like "riveting" or "creative" or whatever. Maybe that's why dramas tend to win at the Oscars.

So the movie - it's about a scientist trying to introduce salmon into the Yemen River, which is a completely odd premise for a movie. Ewan McGregor does a wonderful job as the socially awkward scientist (and really, what scientist isn't socially awkward?) and it's almost surprising how not weird it is to see he and Emily Blunt paired together. Then again, I am biased because I absolutely adore Ewan McGregor and after seeing Emily Blunt in The Five Year Engagement, pretty much any co-star would be an improvement on Jason Segel.

Final word: Unexpected, in a good way.

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