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'The Shipping News' (2001)

The last two movies by director Lasse Hallstrom were nominated for best picture -- "The Cider House Rules" (1999) and "Chocolat" (2000) -- so there were high expectations for this one too. Adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, it starred two-time past Oscar champ Kevin Spacey as an emotionally shattered man who moves to his ancestral home in Newfoundland to restart his life. "The Shipping News" not only bombed, but the film was widely ridiculed. Entertainment Weekly blasted it as "a limp and sodden downer." --T.O. Doane Gregory / Miramax Films
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