Based on an acclaimed novel, adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter, solid cast, strong use of music, whole plot broadcast in the trailer so the risk-averse masses are reassured that everything works out alright in the end before walking into the theater… Check, check, check, check, and check. Director Lasse Hallström has been honing his Oscar-ready craft for years and has, perhaps, become a little too slick for his own good. (To my mind, he peaked with his debut, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, while film geeks would likely cite the Criterion-approved My Life as a Dog, made in his native Sweden.)
And yet… as a trailer, at least, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen works, but even so, I’m kind of surprised this is being pushed out in March, 2012, then, rather than this month — basically a no-confidence vote from the studio as far as awards go, as the Academy voters have a notoriously short memory.
Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas star.