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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 20 April 2012 (UK)
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A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Simon Beaufoy, Paul Torday (novel)
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Popularity
4,718 ( 1,468)
Nominated for 3 Golden Globes. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amr Waked ... Sheikh Muhammed
Emily Blunt ... Harriet
Catherine Steadman ... Ashley
Tom Mison ... Capt. Robert Mayers
Ewan McGregor ... Dr. Alfred Jones
Rachael Stirling ... Mary Jones
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Patricia Maxwell
Tom Beard ... Peter Maxwell
Jill Baker ... Betty
Conleth Hill ... Bernard Sugden
Alex Taylor-McDowall ... Edward Maxwell
Matilda White Matilda White ... Abby Maxwell
Otto Farrant ... Joshua Maxwell
Hamish Gray Hamish Gray ... Malcolm
Clive Wood ... Tom Price-Williams
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Storyline

A visionary sheik believes his passion for the peaceful pastime of salmon fishing can enrich the lives of his people, and he dreams of bringing the sport to the not so fish-friendly desert. Willing to spare no expense, he instructs his representative to turn the dream into reality, an extraordinary feat that will require the involvement of Britain's leading fisheries expert who happens to think the project both absurd and unachievable. That is, until the Prime Minister's overzealous press secretary latches on to it as a 'good will' story. Now, this unlikely team will put it all on the line and embark on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible, possible. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

salmon | fishing | fish | desert | dam | See All (255) »

Taglines:

Make the impossible possible.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Arabic | Mandarin

Release Date:

20 April 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Un amor imposible See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$225,894, 11 March 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$9,025,107, 3 June 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The khanjar or jambiyya (the curved daggers carried in the belt by many of the Yemenis in the movie) are the Omani style; typically in Yemen the sheath is much narrower and highly curved at the tip. Also, normally they are only worn at formal occasions with national dress - similar to sgian dubh in Scotland. See more »

Goofs

The sheik's aircraft carries a Morocco tail id (CN) rather then the expected Yemen country code (7O). See more »

Quotes

Harriet: I'm so sorry about what I said before. That is just unforgivable.
Dr. Alfred Jones: The great thing about people with Asperger's is it's very difficult to hurt their feelings. So it's all right, you can say whatever you like.
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Alternate Versions

For the American theatrical release, references to the supermarket chain Tesco were dubbed over and replaced with Target. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes IV (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Where You Go
Performed by The Young Romans
Written by Jim Roach and Brad Hooks
Courtesy of Red Parade Music by arrangement with Format Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brings humour and faith to science, politics and romantic comedies
17 March 2012 | by napierslogsSee all my reviews

A rich sheik has decided that he would like to bring the faith and sport of fly-fishing to Yemen. British fisheries expert, Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor), thinks it's a joke. But the PM likes the idea of positive Anglo-Yemeni cooperation and the 2 million potential voters who fish. Dr. Jones still thinks it's a joke. The sheik transfers $50 Million over to his consultant's firm, and thus the project begins.

Dr. Jones still thinks it's a joke. And that is where the film shines. The filmmakers don't really treat it as if it's a true story and keep the humour sharp throughout. It's more closely related to a light-hearted romantic comedy rather than a sharp-edged political memoir. But again, this is where it shines, because it's so much better than a light-hearted romantic comedy. McGregor nails his serious character, allowing us to experience his whimsical sense of humour beneath his scientific demeanor. It's a character that I instantly connected with and it has never been better written or portrayed as it was here.

To me, the second best character was Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked). (Although at this point most people would prefer to mention the foul-mouthed press secretary by Kristin Scott Thomas). The sheikh splits his time between the desert of Yemen and the beautiful flowing streams through the mountains and glens of Scotland. He wants to bring the serenity and faith that fly-fishing brings to his people in the Middle East. Dr. Jones fishes but he is not religious. The sheikh found this a very confusing dichotomy in his character until they both realized that faith is not the same thing as religion.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is very funny and approaches political satire level. We know, and Dr, Jones knows, that fish do not survive in the desert. So obviously this is all a big joke, but as we also all know, money and power outweigh common sense. But it starts becoming clear that this might actually work after we realize that the sheikh is driven by faith – not religion, nor money. And the media comes in and creates war heroes and emotions out of nothing. As I said, the film is very funny but it doesn't skewer the politicians or media as much as we would want them to. At that point it becomes a romantic comedy.

The genre shouldn't really matter though because it's so cute and charming, and enjoyable on every level. I'm assuming the book focuses more on the political and engineering maneuvers required to bring salmon to Yemen; here we just stuck with the characters. But I loved these characters.


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