The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by E. Annie Proulx becomes this drama from director Lasse Hallström. Kevin Spacey stars as Quoyle, a struggling, emotionally drained newspaper reporter suffering through a wretched marriage with the abusive Petal (Cate Blanchett), a promiscuous wild woman who tries to sell their daughter, Bunny, into adoption before she's killed in a car wreck. Retrieving his daughter, Quoyle sets out for Newfoundland, his ancestral home, with his long-lost Aunt Agnis (Judi Dench). Although he initially finds life on the island to be as forbidding and severe as Agnis herself, Quoyle gets work as a shipping columnist for the local newspaper "The Gammy Bird," owned by eccentric fisherman Jack Buggit (Scott Glenn). Quoyle's work soon finds an appreciative audience and he begins to rebuild his life, dating local single mother Wavey (Julianne Moore), learning some sea craft, discovering his family's dark history, and finally earning some self-respect. Agnis, in the meantime, starts her own successful business and faces a traumatic incident from her childhood involving Quoyle's late father. The Shipping News (2001) co-stars Rhys Ifans and Pete Postlethwaite.
by Karl Williams synopsis