Message in a Bottle
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Time Out saysLovelorn researcher Theresa (Wright Penn), a columnist's assistant on a Chicago newspaper, thinks she's found the man of her dreams when she reads a letter washed up on the shore, addressed to a Catherine and written in such heart-melting prose she instantly wants to track down the author. Thanks to her paper's best efforts, she homes in on the Carolina coast, where a fishing town delivers up its secret - Costner, softly-spoken shipwright and widower. Wright Penn ploughs a furrow of vulnerable earnestness, Costner delivers another quiet romantic, the screenplay tries to keep their relationship grounded in mutual need and lends it a modicum of credibility. It plays, up to a point. Best try and ignore Gabriel Yared's melisma of mush on the soundtrack, and enjoy Newman's masterclass in scene stealing. Clipped and wise, the old boy does ornery to perfection.