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3.8 out of 5 stars 604 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

ONDINE is the story of Syracuse, a simple fisherman who catches a beautiful and mysterious woman in his trawler nets. The woman seems to be dead, but then she comes alive before Syracuse s eyes, and he thinks he may be seeing things. However, with the help of his irrepressible daughter, Annie, he comes to believe that the fantastical might be possible and that the woman (Ondine) might be a myth come true. Ondine and Syracuse fall passionately in love, but just as we think the fairytale might go on forever, the real world intercedes.

Colin Farrell shows his soulful side in Ondine, a lovely Irish drama from director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Breakfast on Pluto). Syracuse (Farrell), a down-on-his-luck fisherman called Circus by friends and foes alike due to his formerly boozy ways, pulls up his net one morning to find a beautiful, near-drowned woman in it. She calls herself Ondine (Polish actress Alicja Bachleda) and Syracuse's daughter Annie (charming newcomer Alison Barry) thinks she's a selkie (a seal that's taken human form and can grant wishes). Ondine is happy to feed Annie's fantasies, and Syracuse is pretty convinced himself--but things take a dark turn as Annie's illness and Ondine's past intrude on this sweet fantasy. Ondine has a different feel than typical Hollywood fare; events that in most movies would be hyped and emphasized (such as a plot-turning car crash) here pass with jolting swiftness. Instead, Ondine lingers on the interplay between a sad father and a yearning daughter, between a lonely man and a lost woman. The movie builds a rich and deeply felt web of relationships--when the story takes hold, you'll be all the more gripped as a result. Featuring a delightful comic turn by Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta) as a skeptical priest. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Making Ondine
  • HDNet: a Look at Ondine

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Subtitles: Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
    • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
    • Run Time: 103 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (604 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B003LL3FIY
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    According to the dictionary an 'ondine is a water nymph or water spirit, the elemental of water. They are usually found in forest pools and waterfalls. They have beautiful voices, which are sometimes heard over the sound of water. According to some legends, ondines cannot get a soul unless they marry a man and bear him a child. This aspect has led them to be a popular motif in romantic and tragic literature.' Another bit of background information that aids the viewer of this little rarity of a film, ONDINE, is the bit of folklore often referred to in the film - that Ondine is a 'selkie': 'In Irish folklore, there are many stories about creatures who can transform themselves from seals to humans. These beings are called selkies. The seals would come up onto rocks or beaches and take off their skins, revealing the humans underneath. There is no agreement among the stories of how often they could make this transformation. Some say it was once a year on Midsummer's Eve, while others say it could be every ninth night. Once ashore, the selkies were said to dance and sing in the moonlight. One of the most common themes found in selkie folklore is romantic tragedy. Selkie women were supposed to be so beautiful that no man could resist them. They were said to have perfect proportions and dark hair. They also made excellent wives. For this reason, one of the most common selkie stories is that of a man stealing a selkie woman's sealskin. Without her skin, she cannot return to the sea, and so she marries the human man and has children with him. She is a good wife and mother, but because her true home is in the sea, she always longs for it. In the stories, she ends up finding her sealskin that her husband has hidden, or one of her children unwittingly finds it and brings it to her.Read more ›
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    Format: DVD
    So far, one of the two most enchanting movies I have seen this year is "Ondine." [The other enchanting movie is also from Ireland - the impossibly gorgeous animated film titled "The Secret of Kells"]. Ostensibly, "Ondine" is a film about a lonely post alcoholic fisherman who nets a beautiful woman from his boat and saves her life. She insists she wants to be isolated from the world, and the fisherman (Colin Farrell playing the role of "Syracuse") respects her wishes. Her mysteriousness leads him to wonder, and in telling his disabled daughter the story of the event, she imagines that he has captured a selkie - half woman/half seal. The reviewer Grady Harp gives an excellent overview of the selkie legend. Director Neil Jordan goes back to a theme he expertly explored in "The Crying Game" in which a lost man gets a second chance and finds spiritual renewal in a surprise relationship with a woman - or someone who resembles a woman. The chemistry between the male and female leads is palpable but understated - spoken in silences and eyes and gestures.

    There are many elements that make this a truly wonderful film experience. There is a lovely soundtrack without overplaying Irish music...the misty Irish sea...the myth of the Selkie...the honest performances from all the principal actors and actresses. Ironically, the real find is Allison Barry as the young daughter with renal failure who is smart, curious, gutsy, and totally believable. She is a welcome change from the teenagers on Disney TV.

    Naturally, the fisherman falls in love with the selkie and the obstacles to that romance fill the second half of the film.
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    Format: DVD
    Soft, tender and beautifully restrained, `Ondine' is a magical film that left me feeling a warmth in my bones I hadn't felt walking out of a theater in quite a while. I have been anxiously awaiting this films opening for some time now, beings that I had first read of it last year, but it wasn't until about a month ago that it opened in my neck of the woods and I dragged the wife down to one of those posh `Independent' theaters that I love so much to see this `adult fairytale' for myself.

    I was simply captivated.

    The film centers around a lost soul (well, quite a few of them actually) who have to come to terms with circumstance and situation, all of which dampen their existence. Syracuse is a reformed alcoholic fisherman who struggles to care for his handicapped daughter (the poor girls suffers from kidney failure) while battling his ex-wife and her new man, both of whom are still heavy drinkers. One morning Syracuse sees something strange in his net; a woman. She insists that he tell no one of her whereabouts, and so he allows her to stay in his mother's home (she's deceased). Syracuse's daughter stumbles upon this mysterious woman (who goes by the name Ondine, which means `she came from the sea') and instantly believes that she is a selkie, a sea-woman who wears a seal coat and is allowed to come to land and live for seven years if she sheds seven tears, buries her seal-coat and falls in love with a lands-man (it's Celtic myth, and I may have got it a tad wrong so correct me if you feel the need). Regardless of what or who Ondine is, it is instantly apparent that she is very good for both Annie and Syracuse, and they are good for her as well. You can see them come out of the depression that circles their lives and begin to live, spirits uplifted and futures bright.
    Read more ›
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    Topic From this Discussion
    love the Ashley Wholihan song "out on the ocean". Is it published??
    did you ever get an answer? I wonder, too.
    Jun 6, 2012 by hippiemom |  See all 3 posts
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