Weird title, indie movie, you may not have even heard of it, or if you did, you thought it sounded ridiculous and didn’t even bother checking into it. I don’t blame you. Well, that’s not true. I sort of do. If you didn’t even look far enough to find out that it starred two of the best talents to come out of Great Britain in the last twenty years, you really dropped the ball.
I cannot even begin to tell you how incredible a movie, and indeed, a story, this is. Starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt (both favs, but you already knew that about Blunt :), and a surprise familiar face, Tom Mison, who plays our dearly beloved man out of time, Ichabod Crane on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, this movie is a wonderful story about love, believing in the impossible, and overcoming any obstacles.
McGregor plays Dr. (Fred) Alfred Jones, a fisheries expert, who is called upon to assist with a foreign relations project involving a sheikh who wants to put a man-made river in the middle of the desert so that he can bring the great sport of salmon fishing to the region.
Blunt plays Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (which I believe Jones relishes in pronouncing her full last name over and over during the beginning), a financial advisor who is also assisting with the project. Kristen Scott Thomas plays the British politician who loves talking dirt behind people’s backs, and though she wants the mad plan to succeed for political and diplomatic reasons, she has no personal stake in it.
While Harriet has the utmost trust and faith in the project, Fred requires some convincing. But, with his life at a crossroads, his job in jeopardy, and his marriage on the outs, he comes round. Harriet’s man, Robert (Mison) has just gone off on another military assignment, leaving her free to join Fred and the Sheikh in the desert to plan the project up close.
The more time they spend together, the more Harriet and Fred begin to appreciate each other, as well as the project they’re working on, and indeed, the sentiment behind the Sheikh’s wishes. Despite a few failures and more than a few naysayers along the way, they all keep at it and manage to create something truly extraordinary.
Thomas’s role as Patricia Maxwell is almost pure comedic relief and sarcasm. Though it’s British wit, so it’s a bit drier. The movie overall is a drama, but it does have its comic moments, and Maxwell’s situation in any scene forebodes a laugh or two, a fun twist on the types of roles Thomas is usually called upon to play.
The chemistry and friendship that emerges between Harriet and Fred is so natural and so enviable, that it makes the movie worth watching on that basis alone. Unless you love hearing McGregor speak in his native Scottish accent. Then you just get a bonus 🙂
I can’t lavish on any more praise than I already have without sounding phony, so please, do yourself a favor and check this film out. It is pure brilliance, storytelling at its finest.
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