I read The Shipping News last year and found it a dense read that I could not predict translating to film. I was extremely impressed, when I finally got around to hiring it, at how well the story was told. In just under two hours, the film captures the essence of the book; all of the characters, including the character that is the house when Quoyle and his family find themselves living.
There was a couple of immediately noticeable changes that I worried initially could be a problem; in the film, Quoyle only has one daughter and the dog is missing altogether. However, whilst both of those characters serve important roles in the book, they are not missing in the film.
It is a long and slow film, and usually, that’s what I complain about. I still think that the plot of the majority of films can be told in an hour and a half, but it’s almost as if ‘film’ has heard my complaint and is sending me all of the good long films. This film couldn’t have been a moment shorter; if anything, it could have been longer. However, there were single shots in the film that covered many pages of the book and encapsulated everything about this.