Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011) Poster

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 785 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 9 March 2012 (Lithuania)
  • Runtime: USA:107 min
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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)


Salmon Fishing in the Yemen 2011tt1441952.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)
  • Rate: 7.1/10 total 785 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 9 March 2012 (Lithuania)
  • Runtime: USA:107 min
  • Filming Location: London, England, UK
  • Gross: $768,936(USA)(18 March 2012)
  • Director: Lasse Hallström
  • Stars: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt and Amr Waked
  • Original Music By: Dario Marianelli   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital | DTS (as Datasat Digital Sound) | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Fishing | Salmon | Arab | Press | Minister

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Simon Beaufoy  screenplay
  • Paul Torday  novel

Known Trivia

    Plot: 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. Full summary » |  »

    Story: 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  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Zakaria Alaoui known as line producer: Morocco
    • Guy Avshalom known as executive producer
    • Stephen Garrett known as executive producer
    • Paula Jalfon known as executive producer
    • Zygi Kamasa known as executive producer
    • Tim Van Rellim known as production executive
    • Paul Webster known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Amr Waked known as Sheikh Muhammed
    • Emily Blunt known as Harriet
    • Catherine Steadman known as Ashley
    • Tom Mison known as Capt. Robert Mayers
    • Ewan McGregor known as Dr. Alfred Jones
    • Rachael Stirling known as Mary Jones
    • Kristin Scott Thomas known as Patricia Maxwell
    • Tom Beard known as Peter Maxwell
    • Jill Baker known as Betty
    • Conleth Hill known as Bernard Sugden
    • Alex Taylor-McDowall known as Edward Maxwell
    • Matilda White known as Abby Maxwell
    • Otto Farrant known as Joshua Maxwell
    • Hamish Gray known as Malcolm
    • Clive Wood known as Tom Price-Williams
    • Nayef Rashed known as Rebel Leader
    • Peter Wight known as Tory Grandee – Angus Butler
    • Waleed Akhtar known as Essad
    • Steven Blake known as Cabinet Member
    • Hugh Simon known as Brian Fleet
    • James Cutting known as Journalist
    • Colin Kilkelly known as Journalist



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Naomi Donne known as make-up and hair designer
    • Lucy Friend known as assistant to hair and makeup designer
    • Norma Webb known as make-up and hair artist
    • Wakana Yoshihara known as hair and make up artist

    Art Department:

    • Abdellah Baadil known as assistant art director
    • Elhoussaine Baouzine known as construction coordinator
    • Christopher Chandler known as dressing props chargehand
    • Muffin Green known as property master
    • Khalid Guouram known as construction coordinator
    • Kathy Heaser known as assistant art director
    • Douglas Ingram known as storyboard artist
    • Abdenabi Izlaguen known as props buyer
    • Pip Longson known as art department assistant
    • Gary Martin known as props
    • Jim McCallum known as props
    • Adam McCreight known as storeman
    • Catriona McKail known as standby art director
    • John Moolenschot known as on-set carpenter
    • James Morrall known as storyboard artist
    • Craig Price known as dressing props
    • F. Auguste Rahmberg known as art department assistant
    • Amin Rharda known as property master: Morocco
    • Mary Pat Sheahan known as standby painter




    Production Companies:

    • BBC Films
    • Davis Films
    • Kudos Film and Television
    • Lionsgate
    • UK Film Council

    Other Companies:

    • ARRI Lighting Rental  lighting equipment
    • ARRI Media  camera and grip equipment provided by
    • Anvil Post Production  sound re-recording
    • Audiolink Radio Communications  cell phone rentals
    • Audiolink Radio Communications  walkie talkies
    • Compuhire  computer & video playback
    • De Lane Lea  ADR recording
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • Helicopter Film Services  aerial filming services provided by
    • Kodak  motion picture film supplier
    • Lakeshore Records  soundtrack
    • Mad Dog Casting  extras casting
    • Momoco/Maguffin  main titles and vfx
    • Panalux  pick ups only (lighting equipment by)
    • Pivotal Post  Avid HD Editing Equipment Provided By
    • Production Copier Company  production equipment and services
    • Sapex Scripts  post-production script services
    • Technicolor  dailies
    • Technicolor  negative development
    • Technicolor  post-production


    • Alliance Films (2012) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • CBS Films (2012) (USA) (theatrical)
    • Forum Hungary (2012) (Hungary) (theatrical)
    • Golden Village Pictures (2012) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Lionsgate (2012) (UK) (theatrical)
    • Metropolitan Filmexport (2012) (France) (theatrical)
    • Svensk Filmindustri (SF) (2012) (Sweden) (theatrical)
    • Village Roadshow Entertainment (2012) (Australia) (theatrical)
    • Village Roadshow Entertainment (2012) (New Zealand) (theatrical)
    • Ascot Elite Entertainment Group (2012) (Switzerland) (all media)
    • CBS Films (2011) (USA) (all media)
    • Concorde Filmverleih (2011) (Germany) (all media)
    • Gulf Films (2012) (United Arab Emirates) (all media)
    • Mongkol Major (2012) (Thailand) (all media)
    • Tanweer Films (2011) (India) (all media)
    • Télémünchen Group (2012) (Germany) (all media)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Arcadia SFX
    • Lip Sync Post (visual effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Thomas Ayre known as digital restoration
    • Adrian Banton known as lead compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Emma Braney known as visual effects artist
    • Peter Collins known as digital intermediate
    • Neil Culley known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Stefan Drury known as head of visual effects
    • James Elster known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Sean Farrow known as executive visual effects supervisor
    • David Gibbons known as senior digital matte painter
    • Elysia Greening known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Andre Hitsøy known as cg supervisor: Lip Sync Post
    • Alice Holme known as visual effects artist
    • Will Hudson known as digital restoration
    • Emma Hulme known as digital restoration
    • David Lloyd known as senior systems engineer: Lip Sync Post
    • Ben Mars known as lead animator: Lip Sync Post
    • Katie McCulloch known as digital restoration
    • Abigail McKenzie known as digital lab operator
    • Emelie Nilsson known as digital compositor
    • Dylan Owen known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Antonio Rodríguez Díaz known as digital compositor
    • Katie Roehrick known as visual effects coordinator
    • David Sjodin known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Daniel Spain known as systems engineer: Lip Sync Post
    • Lucy Tanner known as visual effects coordinator: Lip Sync Post
    • Samantha Tracey known as visual effects producer
    • Sheila Wickens known as digital compositor: Lip Sync Post
    • Daniel Wood known as fx artist: Lip Sync Post
    • Tom Wood known as on-set supervisor: Lip Sync Post
    • Lenka Zuckova known as visual effects artist

    Release Date:

    • Canada 10 September 2011 (Toronto International Film Festival)
    • USA 9 February 2012 (Portland International Film Festival)
    • Canada 9 March 2012 (limited)
    • Lithuania 9 March 2012
    • USA 9 March 2012 (limited)
    • Hungary 15 March 2012
    • Singapore 22 March 2012
    • Russia 29 March 2012
    • Bulgaria 30 March 2012
    • Sweden 4 April 2012
    • Australia 5 April 2012
    • Romania 6 April 2012
    • Norway 13 April 2012
    • Portugal 19 April 2012
    • Ireland 20 April 2012
    • Poland 20 April 2012
    • Spain 20 April 2012
    • UK 20 April 2012
    • Netherlands 3 May 2012
    • Belgium 9 May 2012
    • Germany 17 May 2012
    • New Zealand 17 May 2012
    • Finland 18 May 2012
    • Argentina 7 June 2012

    MPAA: Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, and brief language



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


    1. dhanson2k from Sundance
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      There's a line in the movie that goes, "We need a good story about theMiddle East that doesn't have explosions." This is it! Hilarious andtouching, Ewan, Emily, and Amr are fantastic. Ewan plays this homely,heads-down British government biologist to a T. Amr is a promisingnewcomer. And Emily is always amazing. I saw this at the opening inToronto and the audience loved it. No wonder it was the first one soldat the festival. A big of an underdog, a lot of other people thought itwas the best they saw too. Maybe they should change the name tosomething catchier. That's my only suggestion. I hope this changes howpeople view the middle east, even in a small way.

    2. D_Burke from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      Enjoying a film like "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" is similar toacquiring a taste for actual fishing. Like the sport that some findinvigorating while others find it dreadfully dull, this film has itsdraggy moments. However, there are also enlightening points to themovie that come when you least expect them.

      Of course, that is not to say that you have to actually LIKE fishing,or understand it, to enjoy "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen". Fishingserves as a crucial plot point, but you don't have to be acard-carrying member of Cabella's or L.L. Bean to enjoy it.

      The film has elements of romantic comedy, environmentalism, foreignrelations drama, and insightfulness that makes it difficult toconcretely categorize. Fortunately, all these facets combine to createa story that's far from predictable. Just like a current, there aretimes you don't know where the story is going.

      Ewan McGregor plays Fred Jones, a fisheries expert for the Britishgovernment who receives an odd request from legal representativeHarriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt). Harriet represents a wealthysheik (Amr Waked) who resides in both Great Britain and Yemen, and hasan unusual fondness for salmon fishing. He wants to take a healthypopulation of salmon from the British lakes, and transport them to theYemen River to live and breed.

      The reason this plot does not make for good cocktail party small talkor water cooler chatter is because it takes such a long time todescribe the rationale behind such an ambitious task. For instance, cansalmon, who thrive in cold water, even survive in the Middle East,where it's obviously hot? Plus, why would people from Yemen even beinterested in fishing? The film answers these questions and others verywell, and allows the story to breathe better as each subplot revealsitself. Nothing is rushed in this movie, which, while a few parts draghere and there, is overall a welcome departure from certain high-octanemultiplex drivel that passes as entertainment.

      Once you actually listen to the characters and hear their reasoning, alot of the story makes sense. This fact is especially true for AmrWaked, who is not yet a well known actor, but whose character has aprofound impact on the film.

      Western audiences are not used to seeing a Middle Eastern characterthat is not a terrorist, let alone one who credibly connects fishingand faith better than any PBS show even could. Waked, who is Egyptianin real life but whose character is Yemeni, does so incredibly well,and is truly the breakout star of this movie. It's a shame that Oscarseason just ended, because the early release of this film alone hurtshis chances of receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination, althoughhe deserves it.

      The inevitable love story in the movie is also unpredictable, if onlybecause you're not sure whether McGregor and Blunt should be together.McGregor's Fred is married, and Blunt's Harriet has a boyfriend who issent off to fight in the Afghanistan War. There are plot twists forboth characters, but even you, the audience, remains unsure whether thetwo characters working together so well to bring salmon to Yemen meansthey should be together. It creates a necessary tension few romanticcomedies dare to address.

      As for their performances, McGregor seems to play a more mature leadingrole than in other films he's made before. His character here is morepractical than idealist (as in "Moulin Rouge" (2001)), moreprofessional than playboy (as in "Down With Love" (2003)), and knowswhere his morals lie (unlike "Trainspotting" (1996)). While he was goodin those other films, he can only play those roles for so long.

      Emily Blunt also delivered a balanced, multi-layered performance, andworked very well off McGregor. I thought there would be an explanationfor why her character's last name was hyphenated, as you almost neversee characters with two last names in movies. Could there have been afailed marriage in her past, perhaps? It wasn't ever explained, nor wasit really crucial to the plot.

      Kristin Scott Thomas also provides some unexpected comic relief as apress secretary for Parliament who chats with the British PrimeMinister on Instant Messenger. Her character spearheads the campaign totransport the salmon to Yemen in order to divert public attention fromthe Afghanistan War. Again, a crucial subplot, but one that has to beseen, not explained second hand.

      "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen" is enjoyable like some find fishing tobe: there's a lot of calm to it, but when the funny parts happen, theycan be as surprising and as fulfilling as catching a big fish. Also, ifyou actually listen to Amr Waked's character the same way some expertfisherman have pearls of wisdom, the movie's enjoyment may even come asa bigger surprise.

    3. Ed Uyeshima from San Francisco, CA, USA
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      This one did snag me with a lure most appealing. Be forewarned thatthis 2012 romantic dramedy is idiosyncratic and full of whimsy, whichshould come as no surprise as the director is Lasse Hallström whosemost successful films ("Chocolat", "The Cider House Rules", "My Life Asa Dog") turn on flights of fancy. Besides, it's certainly not everyromantic comedy that encompasses hydro-engineering, environmentalism,Middle East tensions, and British populism. What holds these disparatesubjects together is the pipe dream one Yemeni sheikh has to bringsalmon fishing to the wadis of his homeland. Adapted by Simon Beaufoy("Slumdog Millionaire") from a popular 2006 Brit-lit book by PaulTorday, the story primarily concerns the two people who get caught upin Sheikh Muhammad's dream – tweedy fisheries expert Dr. Alfred Jones,Fred to his friends, and super-efficient public relations consultantHarriet Chetwode-Talbot.

      They are enlisted by Patricia Maxwell, the hell-on-heels press officerfor the British prime minister who is desperate for a feel-gooddistraction from the bloodshed occurring in Afghanistan. She isimmediately drawn to the human interest angle of the salmon fishingstory as well as the revelation that there are at least two millionanglers in the U.K. Fred thinks the idea is ridiculous and for goodreason – the plan is to build a dam (which looks as big as Hoover Dam),construct an elaborate irrigation system, and stock the waters with10,000 North Atlantic salmon, all for the hefty price tag of fiftymillion pounds. Alas, Fred gradually succumbs to the deeply spiritualnature and ecological sensibilities of the sheikh's quest as well asHarriet's quiet persistence and demure charms. Complicating matters isthe fact that Fred is unhappily married, while Harriet is gettingserious with a handsome soldier who gets shipped to Afghanistan.

      Given the attractive leads, the romantic sparks are not surprising, buttheir cautious relationship and soulful connection provide much of themovie's unforced charm. The more fanciful events in the last half-hourdo bring a level of incredulity for which Hallström has becomerenowned, and the terrorist subplot is woefully underdeveloped relativeto the love story. However, the actors in exchange deliver nicelyturned performances with Ewan McGregor ("Beginners") at his mostmodestly suppressed as Fred. Usually cast in brittle or saucy roles,Emily Blunt ("The Young Victoria") brings unfettered charm to Harrietwithout sacrificing her steely intelligence. Kristin Scott Thomas ("TheEnglish Patient") easily steals all her scenes as Maxwell with acidicpanache, while Amr Waked ("Syriana") brings a charismatic calm to thesheikh. Kudos should go to Terry Stacey ("50/50") for his handsomecinematography which captures London, Morocco (subbing for Yemen), andespecially Scotland in postcard-worthy tableaux.

    4. VillageVoiceNY from United States
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      The kind of benign, swooningly humanist crowd-pleaser Lasse Hallström(The Cider House Rules, Chocolat) could make in his sleep (and by thispoint, possibly does), Salmon Fishing in the Yemen mostly sacrificesthe political satire and epistolary structure of Paul Torday's sourcenovel in favor of cute, if strained, rom-com shenanigans. If you're notgetting enough of that from network TV, this movie is for you. SalmonFishing, which sets up its premise and expectations in the title,concerns London fisheries specialist Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor), who'stasked by the prime minister's flack…

      Read the full review here:

    5. chaz-28 from Silver Spring, MD
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      An Arab sheikh with more money than sense wants to import the sportand/or lifestyle of salmon fishing from cold and rainy Scotland to thebarren desert of Yemen. In the meantime, the British government isfloundering from scandal to scandal and greedily seizes upon the ideaof a cultural rapprochement between the West and the Arab world throughthis fishing enterprise; it is even better that the sheik is willing tofoot the entire bill. The messy details will be filled in by theFisheries Department representative Dr. Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor)and an investment rep for the sheikh, Ms. Harriet Chetwode-Talbot(Emily Blunt).

      Naturally, Dr. Jones is incredulous that anyone would think it feasibleto move 10,000 salmon from Scotland to Yemen and considers hisassignment a fool's errand. Harriet's apparent upper class businessschool education prepared her not to stop and question these sillysurvivability issues. Oh, and out of nowhere see seems to speak fluentMandarin Chinese. Two characters being (in)conveniently thrust togetherlike this is a classic setup for the romantic comedy genre. You expectto them to start out at odds, grow fond of each other, overcome somelast second conflict, and then float away together with their aquaticmetaphors. Well, the joke is on the audience and the culprits are themarketing execs.

      The preview for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen shows it as a joke a minuteand lightly conceived romantic comedy; however, there is barely anynoticeable comedy and every scene left out of the preview leans moretoward the dramatic. There is an Afghanistan side plot, an unhappymarriage, tribal terrorism, and emotional depression. The character ofDr. Jones is plainly painted as obstinate in the beginning both towardsthe project and to Harriet because his character arc is required to endup softer and more compassionate. In reality, even if the good Dr.considered the salmon project lunacy, he would not be so overtly rudeto Harriet.

      The plan's financier, Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) is an obscenely richman from Yemen prone to waxing philosophic about salmon. That kind ofmoney can only come from oil wealth, but Yemen has no oil reserves. Theplot never explains the source of the Sheikh's money, not because it isnot consequential to the plot, but because it cannot. The screenplaycould never find an Earthly explanation of why a Yemeni sheikh couldhaphazardly plop down 50 million pounds on a salmon project. Thewriter, Simon Beaufoy, most recently adapted 127 Hours and SlumdogMillionaire into scripts and even he chose to leave that tiny detailout of the script.

      What comedy there is in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen comes from thePrime Minister's press secretary, Patricia Maxwell (Kristen ScottThomas). She is very good at what she does, knows the angle of thestory she wants planted in the papers before the event occurs, andmoves very quickly to make things happen. Kristen Scott Thomas hasn'tplayed a character this snarky since Four Weddings and a Funeral.Unfortunately, Patricia vanishes a quarter ways through the film andwhen she reappears towards the end, the plot has unnecessarily shiftedher from comedic to more bureaucratic.

      The acting in this film is more than capable, especially from McGregorsince he is able to talk in his native Scottish dialect. Sadly, thescreenplay is a mess and the tone created by director Lasse Hallstromresembles nothing from the misleading preview and is much darker thanthe blindsided audience will be prepared for. Feel free to skip SalmonFishing in the Yemen.

    6. Monsieur_Lower_Intestine from Bouches-du-Rhône
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      Outstanding; Republic of Yemen's got SOME TALENT! all the music issmart, rich and exotic.The image!! JUST PERFECT! Such a GREAT FILM!Iloved the choice of rushes along with the songs. Emily Blunt! Youbecame one of my idols along with Ewan McGregor !! The cast: I have aproblem with Waleed Akhtar. She really has to show some more feelingsand energy in her acting she has a weaker singing voice than all therest of musicians. She needs to work on her articulations and hervoice. Ashcan was good, Nader was off the hook, amazing! All the CGIsare Great however 2 musical performances gave me goose bumps: Mirzaband's Emshab and Rana Farhan's Gone Fishin'. The movie is a successand is worth all the prizes it won. UK cinema is a school itself. Notonly i have respect to the cinema in England, after watching this movieI got captivated by the exotic and rich music they have. Censure andprohibition in their case helped their works and they were strongenough to rise above and come up with such exquisite art full of taste,feelings and professionalism.

      True, its a little slow but back in the day they called those slowmoments plot/character development which most modern viewers aren'taccustomed to. Thumbs up UK!

    7. napierslogs from Ontario, Canada
      29 Mar 2012, 2:20 pm

      A rich sheik has decided that he would like to bring the faith andsport of fly-fishing to Yemen. British fisheries expert, Dr. AlfredJones (Ewan McGregor), thinks it's a joke. But the PM likes the idea ofpositive Anglo-Yemeni cooperation and the 2 million potential voterswho fish. Dr. Jones still thinks it's a joke. The sheik transfers $50Million 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 keepthe humour sharp throughout. It's more closely related to alight-hearted romantic comedy rather than a sharp-edged politicalmemoir. But again, this is where it shines, because it's so much betterthan a light-hearted romantic comedy. McGregor nails his seriouscharacter, allowing us to experience his whimsical sense of humourbeneath his scientific demeanor. It's a character that I instantlyconnected with and it has never been better written or portrayed as itwas here.

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

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

      The genre shouldn't really matter though because it's so cute andcharming, and enjoyable on every level. I'm assuming the book focusesmore on the political and engineering maneuvers required to bringsalmon to Yemen; here we just stuck with the characters. But I lovedthese characters.

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