Photo: CBS Films
The nominees for the 70th Annual Golden Globes have been announced, and as per usual there are plenty of snubs and surprises. Perhaps the most head-scratching of the latter category is the inclusion of a little movie called "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen," which managed to score three major nominations: Best Comedy or Musical, Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (Ewan McGregor) and Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical (Emily Blunt).
So … how did this happen? The reasonably amusing arthouse film directed by veteran arthouse film maestro Lasse Hallstrom ("Chocolat," "The Cider House Rules") follows the exploits of an eccentric sheik who wants to bring his passion for fly fishing to the desert, an endeavor that brings together a cynical British fisheries expert (McGregor) and a conveniently attractive press secretary (Blunt). The film received a limited release this March and barely made an impression with either critics or audiences; the general consensus was that it was cute and pleasant enough but about as engaging (and relevant) as a day on the lake with nothing biting. It left its handful of theaters quickly and quietly, seemingly doomed to be one of those movies you catch on an airplane because, well, it beats talking to the guy sitting next to you.
"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" has now denied its own obscurity and become a major Golden Globes nominee, and how this came to be will probably only ever be known by a select few working behind the iron curtain of awards season. Maybe the producers took the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press on a fly fishing trip (in, well, the Yemen)?