Another Kevin Spacey movie to add to my movie reviews, however, this one turned out a touch better then the last, as you can see from the rating I gave it alone (the last Kevin Spacey movie I watched was K-Pax). With a star-studded cast, an intriguing plot, and a beautiful setting, The Shipping News will keep you thinking all night, and is well worth the money to rent or buy.
The story basis around Quoyle, a man who has been emotionally beaten his whole life, from his father pushing him in the lake and telling him to swim to his wife Petal having sex with other men in their house, while their daughter is there. Petal met Quoyle in a bar one night, and decided to sleep with him (using more vulgar terminology) and got pregnant. It is obvious from the start that she is not only a terrible mother, but a terrible wife, as she is performing her sexual escapades that I mentioned earlier. Well, one day a woman shows up who claims to be related to Quoyle, with the name of Agnis Hamm, played by Dame Judi Dench (whoâ€™s incredible as always). Sheâ€™s heading back to Newfoundland, which is where there whole family is from. A few days later, Petal runs off again on another sexual escapade, only this time she takes their daughter Bunny, who is played by all three of the Gainer sisters (who are triplets). Turns out Petal sold Bunny to an adoption agency for a few grand and took off, a bridge that is, killing her and her lover. These escapades leave Quoyle feeling pretty down as you can imagine, so he decides to head to Newfoundland with Agnis. All of this takes place in the first like 15 minutes of the movie. Talk about an intense beginning. So now that the movie has grabbed the audience by the balls, we head to Newfoundland, which is where the rest of the movie takes place.
Quoyle and Agnis head to the old house, which is held up by ropes so that it wonâ€™t blow away, where their ancestors lived, having dragged the house across the frozen water from an island. Quoyle soon lands a job writing reports for the shipping news (we have a title), where he ends up taking some chances writing articles that are unexpected and different from the norm. He then meets Wavey Prowse, played by Julianne Moore, and is instantly drawn to her, although when he gets too close, he pictures Petal in her place (which is really creepy in the movie, just so you know) and canâ€™t bring himself to be physically close with her. Speaking of jaded pasts, he soon finds out more about his familyâ€™s past, which gets more and more disturbing as it goes along. He finds out that his father raped his aunt, Agnis, when they were twelve. Not only that, turns out the majority of his family were pirates to boot. However, in the end Quoyle is able to overcome not only his Petal-past, but also his familyâ€™s past when he witnesses one of the villagers overcome the family curse (which is dying at sea) and is moved to tell Bunny that her mother is actually dead. In the end, the house blows away in a violent storm, as well as Quoyleâ€™s past and his is able to heal and start anew.
There really arenâ€™t too many particulars I can point out with this movie, because the whole thing is really well done. One thing that annoyed me was that there were constant jump cuts from really dark scenes to really bright scenes, as if the filmmaker were trying to tell you â€œWake up, bastard, I see you dozin.â€ So that was a little irritating, but thatâ€™s rather petty when compared to the brilliance of the writing and the phenomenal acting that made this movie one that Iâ€™ll be adding to my shelf soon enough.