The Secret of Roan Inish
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The magic of folklore forms the basis of this Irish tale by writer-director John Sayles. Adapted from the book Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry, the 1940s story is told from the point-of-view of Fiona (Jeni Courtney), a young girl sent to live with her grandparents in an Irish fishing town. Her grandfather weaves grand stories about the family's evacuation from their home on the tiny island of Roan Inish and about his great-great grandfather, who once cheated death at the hands of the unforgiving sea. As she meets other villagers, Fiona hears even more personal stories about an uncle who… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The rhythms are placid and the camerawork (by Haskell Wexler) is simple and unfussy. The film's a charm."
‑ Bruce Diones, New Yorker
"This is all rather low-key and uninsistent, but the settings are gorgeous, and Haskell Wexler's cinematography makes the most of them."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"...a story about storytelling, and how folk tales and real life can intermingle."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
"A beautifully told faerie tale"
‑ Douglas Pratt, DVDLaser
"Magical fable from writer-director John Sayles is a departure -- and a great success."
‑ James Rocchi, Netflix
"John Sayles' latest marks his entry into family-pic terrain, a crossing that draws pleasant but unexciting results."
‑ Dennis Harvey, Variety
"Tales within tales, a subtle sense of economic and social realities, fine landscape photography and strong performances make for an engrossing, unusual fantasy."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It's family entertainment in the best sense of the term."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Lyrical and lovely."
‑ Nell Minow, Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
"A lovely and lyrical drama about the spiritual longing for home and the deep meanings that can be conveyed by family stories."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Moving from passion fish to mystical seals, versatile filmmaker John Sayles' latest is a first-rate, all-ages fairy tale steeped in Irish folklore."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"One of Mr. Sayles's artistic strengths (and commercial liabilities) is his refusal to make movies that knock you over the head with larger-than-life characters and emotions."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"One of his most accomplished movies, this is Sayles' corrective fable to a genre thas has favored male protags, exploring another outsider character, a young girl alone in the world."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Unusually sweet Sayles tale."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Sayles, as always, delivers the goods."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
More reviews for The Secret of Roan Inish on Rotten Tomatoes