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Ondine-Movie Review 01/12/2013

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, Folk Tale, Irish film, Irish Film and Television Awards, Neil Jordan, Romance, San Diego Film Critics Society Awards.
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Ondine (Irish) 2009

Written and directed by Neil Jordan
Starring Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan, and Alison Barry

WINNER, Best Lead Actor (Farrell); Best Supporting Actress (Kirwan); Best Production Design; Best Sound, Irish Film and Television Awards
WINNER, Best Actor (Farrell); NOMINATED, Best Original Screenplay (Jordan), San Diego Film Critics Society Awards

An updated version of the Irish folktale of the Selkies, seals who transform into humans for a time.

Syracuse (Farrell) is a fisherman and a recovering alcoholic with a solitary lifestyle. His young daughter Annie (Barry), who lives with his ex-wife Maura (Kirwan), has kidney disease and must use a wheelchair. Syracuse does his best to help care for her.

One day, Syracuse pulls up one of his fishing nets and finds a young woman named Ondine (Bachleda). At first she seems to be drowned but comes back to life. Annie begins to believe that she is a Selkie, and she soon has her father and much of the town believing it, too.

Although not a big award winner, I thought this film was refreshing and not overly sentimental. Farrell shows an emotional side that makes his relationships with Annie and Ondine touching, and the ending, which is a bit of a stretch, easier to accept. Alison Barry, who plays Annie, hasn’t acted before this role.

Also check out The Secret of the Roan Inish, for another retelling of the tale.

103 min. Rated PG-13.



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