Saturday, March 17, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Ondine (2009) ***

PG-13, 111 min.
Director/Writer: Neil Jordan
Starring: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Alison Barry, Dervia Kirwan, Tony Curran, Emil Hostina, Stephen Rae

There’s nothing like a good Irish fairy tale for St. Patrick’s Day. This one actually involves the Scottish fairy tale of the selkies, seals who can take human form. Oddly, the possible selkie in this Irish movie is neither Irish nor Scottish. She isn’t French either, although the name, Ondine, which she gives herself, is.

None of this is a detriment to the movie, however, which for most of its running time is a gentle tale about a fisherman who finds a woman tangled in his nets one day. She wants to be kept secret, but the man can’t help telling his daughter the story as a fairy tale while she takes her dialysis treatments. The man is separated from the girl’s mother due to his sobriety. He’s never exactly held the luck of the Irish; but the woman—who seems to be one of the mythical creatures of the sea—appears to bring him some long needed good luck.

Written and directed by one of Ireland’s most famous directors, Neil Jordan (“The Crying Game”), the movie is more touching than his usual fare. It does venture into more typical Jordan territory by the end. I’ll not spoil it by explaining my meaning. I almost wish it hadn’t, however. The fairy tale elements are nice and might’ve made an excellent family film had they been left as pure fairy tale. But, the movie is still good as it is. It’s really hard to argue against a good Irish tale. 

No comments: