Ondine (N. Jordan, 2009)

This review contains slight spoilers (2nd paragraph).

Ondine (Neil Jordan, 2009)

In Ondine, Alicja Bachleda hypnotically floats through each scene mesmerizing the camera, while Colin Farrell uses the remains of his The New World performance as he watches her longingly. The innocence radiates from Bachleda, and Farrell exuberates toughness and sensitivity as the two are thrown together in a sweet romance, akin to much of the 20s Borzage I’ve been watching lately. Add to it the combination of slight sensuality, the Irish coast, and director-of-photography Christopher Doyle and what you have is a beautiful, romantic, poetically shot film.

…And then there’s the rest. There’s a shroud of mystery surrounding Bachleda’s character, as she meets Farrell’s after he catches her in his fisherman’s net. Farrell’s character has a daughter who is certain this girl is a selkie. The ambiguous fairy-tale like atmosphere this creates is actually quite good, but then Jordan uses the daughter as a mouthpiece to explain every last detail of the selkie mythology to the audience. The whole ‘wise beyond her years’ act of the daughter wears thin real fast. Frankly, we don’t need to know that much about selkies to appreciate the film’s mythological and mysterious qualities. Additionally, instead of riding the film’s ambiguity and fairy-tale story all the way to the end, Jordan throws in a painful twist that really ruins the last quarter of the film and sort of negates the dream-like quality of the beginning. But, despite heavy flaws, I couldn’t help but be swept away by the romance, the setting, and the photography.  7.75/10


2 Responses to “Ondine (N. Jordan, 2009)”


    Hi Chris,

    On behalf of Magnolia Pictures and the movie’s producers, many thanks for plugging “Ondine” … .. and if you / your readers want good quality, non-pirated, previews, then the official trailer for “Ondine” is available for fans and bloggers to post / host / share etc at http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/ondine/ … .. for further details of on-line promotions for this movie and Magnolia releases generally, check-out http://www.magpictures.com and their official YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/MagnoliaPictures .

    Thanks again for your plug.



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