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A man makes a startling discovery that may or may not be magical in this drama from writer and director Neil Jordan. Syracuse (Colin Farrell) is a fisherman who lives in a small town on the Southern coast of Ireland. Syracuse is an alcoholic, and though he's been sober for two years, most of his neighbors still remember him as a embarrassing drunk, while his ex-wife now lives with another man. Syracuse tries to scratch out a living from the ocean and help support his young daughter, Annie (Alison Barry), who suffers from a serious kidney ailment, but good luck is rarely with him until one… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's impossibly romantic; Farrell and real-life partner Bachleda exude a tamped-down longing that intensifies as the movie draws to its conclusion."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"Among the film's pleasures is a disarmingly tender performance from the new, improved Colin Farrell."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Things start to go awry when we realize that the film's emotional sensitivity doesn't go much deeper than its moody surfaces."
‑ Andrew Chan, Film Comment Magazine
"A fairy tale for adults from Neil Jordan"
‑ Marty Mapes, Movie Habit
"An imperfect film, but it's the kind of imperfect film with staying power."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Some complexities of story will be lost on audiences not tuned to the regional Irish brogue that is the mother tongue of this little fishing community. But Christopher Doyle's dark lush photography plucks the green coast of Cork like a harp."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com
"Silkies aren't the only creatures who can inhabit two worlds. As Annie knows, and as Jordan's film makes clear, stories enable us to step outside the quotidian world and dream, if only for an hour or two."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"An Irish selkie tale for adults."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"full review at Movies for the Masses"
‑ Joseph Proimakis, Movies for the Masses
"Ondine works OK when it's trying to be a romantic fantasy. Screenwriter/director Neil Jordan can't leave well enough alone, though. His fable suddenly turns dark and nasty in the final third, when it becomes a thriller."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Ondine is dipped in whimsy and might have drifted out to sea, but it's bounded on four sides by love stories - between a father and a daughter, a man and a mermaid, an actor and his co-star, and a director and his country."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Jordan starts to tell an intriguing tale about living with fantasy but falls back on plot turns cued to the flashing lights of cops and paramedics."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"Understated in its subversion of, and then canny adherence to, its chosen folklore"
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"He's an Irishman, she's a seal. It'll never work."
‑ Rob Thomas, Wisconsin State Journal
"At its most affecting, this uneven quasi-fantasy is about people hungering for myth"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
More reviews for Ondine on Rotten Tomatoes