Beautifully understated.

FILM: This is a wonderfully shot but an unusually staid little love story from director Lasse Hallström who gave us the charming Chocolat, the deliber- ately old-fashioned The Cider House Rules and the tender What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

Then again, he also did clunky Dear John and corny Something to Talk About.

One thing he’s good at is drawing solid performances from his lead, and he gets that right in the dramatic romance Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt are a fisheries expert and financial consultant respectively, brought in to bring to life a sheik’s dream of introducing salmon fishing into Yemen.

The British prime minister’s press liaison (played with great relish by Kristen Scott Thomas as a shark with a big hairdo) gets hold of the story and goes all out to promote the good news story about Anglo-Arab relations, even when the story runs away from her.

Actually the film is about taking things on faith and having a dream, more than it is about the fish – but it is very subtly done.

The whole effect makes for a film that is so understated as to be reserved, both on the acting and plot side.

SPECIAL FEATURES: None. – Theresa Smith