The Shipping News
December 25, 2001
Platform release for awards consideration
Boasting perhaps one of the most pedigreed casts of any movie currently waiting to be released, Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Shipping News, is the story of a loser (two-time Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey) who moves his family home to Newfoundland and begins a new chapter in his life.
Also starring Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore, Academy Award winner Dame Judi Dench, Jason Behr, Academy Award nominee Cate Blanchett, John Dusworth, Scott Glenn, Rhys Ifans, and Pete Postlethwaite, The Shipping News is directed by Academy Award nominee Lasse Hallstrom, whose previous two films (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) were nominated for Best Picture Academy Awards.
Clearly there is a great deal of promise for the quality of the film, but none of the cast members is a truly bankable star in their own right. Even Spacey, probably the most recognizable member of the cast, had a sizable flop with the highly-anticipated Pay It Forward, proving that even smart actors can choose terrible projects.
Set to be released in limited markets on Christmas Day, clearly for Oscar consideration (wide release is scheduled for the 4th of January), The Shipping News is a Miramax release, and we all know what that means...a huge push for Oscar. Miramax was able to push a not-terribly- good film, Chocolat, last year to an Academy Award nomination it had nearly no chance to win, so there is no question what the intentions are for the film. However, it remains highly questionable if this is a film that will translate into box office success. (Les Winan/BOP)