Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2012)
Brief review: Adapted from Paul Torday's novel of the same name, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is yet another 'winner' from "Chocolat" director Lasse Hallström. Balancing drama and comedy well in a film is undoubtedly a hard thing to do, and many filmmakers in the past have struggled to produce successful movies that fit into this hybrid of a genre. That's not the case with Swedish director Lasse Hallström, who manages to pull it off quite effortlessly and naturally in "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen", and he deserves credit for that. Thanks to his flair and skills and Simon Beaufoy's clever, well-adapted script, this movie has as much heart-wrenching moments in it as it has laughs. Yes, it gets a bit too sentimental at times, and its romantic bits often aren't as emotionally powerful as they should, but "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is still an intelligent piece of cinema that fully benefits from its strong source material. Furthermore, Hallström's subtle direction, combined with Terry Stacey's super-smooth cinematography that features many breathtaking landscape shots, make this film as pretty as a postcard. To put such a talented cast in one movie is a winning move, and director Hallström takes full advantage of the their acting skills. All the actors involved work brilliantly together, with Blunt and McGregor sharing a believable on screen chemistry, and Kristin Scott Thomas bringing the laughs.
Overall summary: Although not always as enjoyable and emotionally-engaging as it's supposed to be, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" is still a warm, charming, beautifully-crafted and wonderfully-acted dramedy with heart, soul, brains and pretty sophisticated sense of humor.