An Irish fisherman with a dying and wheelchair bound daughter one day catches a woman in his net. Neither the fisherman nor the woman know how she got there, and they are both shocked she isn't dead, but they're going to make life worth it now that she isn't. They encounter several challenges with the fisherman's daughter but nothing they can't overcome.
"She can make a wish come true."
Neil Jordan, director of The Crying Game, The Miracle, The Butcher Boy, Byzantium, Michael Collins, The Brave One, High Spirits, and The Good Thief, delivers Ondine. The storyline for this picture had a great start and a lot of potential; unfortunately, it takes some awkward turns. The acting was actually pretty good and the cast includes Colin Farrell, Stephen Rea, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan, and Tony Curran.
"The sea spit you out, did it?"
I came across this picture a long time ago on Netflix and thought I'd give it a shot. I actually really liked the fairy tale aspect but a couple times it got weird. I think the villains could have been a little better developed, but overall it was worth a viewing.
"She sings to the fishes and he catches them."
Music from Icelandic group Sigur Rós and Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan feature strongly in the film
A breath of fresh air! And my favorite Colin Farrell film!
"Ondine" is a beautiful modern fairytale, from the versatile and vastly underrated Neil Jordan. There's an elegance and poetic minimalism here that perfectly sells this simple and rather somber story. The lush Irish countryside pops through the lens of Christopher Doyle, and Jordan really establishes a time and place here. It all feels vividly real and indescribably dreamlike. Perfect grounds for a fairy tale.
Colin Farrell plays an ex-alcoholic every man, and for an actor of such movie star charisma and uneven public opinion, it's always nice to see him disappear into smaller, less obvious fare. He's good here as always, but Alicja Bachleda as Ondine is such a striking presence; mystifying and completely synonymous with this film. Both however are outclassed by the young Alison Barry. Playing farrell's daughter she steals every scene with quick-wit and timing well beyond her age.
The film's conclusion is the only thing that I can see really dividing viewers. Jordan takes things in a rather dark direction towards the end, and I can see this spoiling the established tone and charm for some. It's unexpected and akin to most classic fairytales, and I personally appreciated the change in pace. "Ondine" is so good that it even makes a few obvious cliches (the ex-drunk who starts to drink again for a little emotional manipulation/ the priest who acts as the main character's muse and is way more open-minded and understanding than actual priests) seem less than detrimental.
"Ondine" is a really good movie from one of the most underappreciated filmmakers currently working. A great find for anyone looking for something out of the ordinary.