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Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2020
This headline, is an infamous quote from this film. I LOVE this movie. I LOVE the characters and the actors who play the roles. Little, golden haired FIONNA, is the star of the show. (The film, "ONDINE" has another wonderful little girl actor, and the story is very similar, in many aspects. Also, an Irish film, with the lovely Colin Farrell, as the recovering alcoholic, Father. A superb role written just for him). Roan Inish, is lush, green, sweeping ocean vistas, a fairy tale of a little lost boy, and the girl child who loves and adores him. The whole story is steeped in family lore, love, love for family and hearth, and love of the sea. My own 4th Great Grandfather, perished in a NOVA SCOTIA shipwreck. An overloaded schooner, too much cargo, too many passengers, foul weather (a dark sky, as they say in RI). According to the newspaper reports, and the historical weather reports, the December sky turned dark, the wind came up, the tide rose, and "Schooner Caroline" took on water, up in the Bay of Fundy. All hands, lost. The rest, is history. In Roan Inish, the story is the same , the families are leaving the island, for want of work and a better life. The boy baby is in his gorgeous handmade cradle. He is at the waters edge, the tide trolls in, the wind comes up, then big waves and the baby is lost at sea. No ability to rescue him. He and his cradle are quickly taken by the sea. It is only Little Fionna, who believes him not to be lost. It is her own, small determination who believes and rescues her long lost brother. The acting is superb (HUme Cronyn), and a host of other famous Irish actors. Great family film. Great child's film. Wonderful, heart felt story. Highly recommended, and ONDINE, as well.
I purchased this film back 2017 and just recently saw the movie.. why..? the hurricane went through porto rico and was left without electricity for over 10 months ... the TV also was soaked with water.. eventually bought a new TV and finally viewed the movie this past week.. I originally bought it cheap ..under $10 not really knowing what type of movie I was buying.. well I thought I would be watching another silly cheap film .. but I was wrong.. I drew out a tear or two watching this movie.. I never shed any tears watching a movie .. but this movie is a powerful film.. best movie I have seen in a long .. long .. time ..
I was reminded of a close friend of my father’s. Normally a distinguished business executive, even a bit stiff, at a party in our home, after I had served him a few drinks and accompanied him in When Irish Eyes are Smiling and other similar tenor confections then popularized by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny program, he would break into the most wonderful brogue and tell one tall tale after another, just like the characters in this film. Unlike the characters in this film, however, my father’s friend didn’t believe the blarney with which he was sending us all into fits of laughter, but he assured us that if we made a trip to the Emerald Isle and spent some time in its pubs we’d hear much of the same for the cost of a wee dram. As this film was included in Prime membership, the blarney didn’t even cost that. Attractive people, no violent or sociopathic scenes, pretty scenery, sure and it’s a harmless way to spend an evening.
What a lovely story of western Ireland just after WW2, and Irish folklore come to life. The stars are the two children, with special emphasis on the young girl. This is a family favorite, one we turn to when things get a little hectic or down. It brightens things up and calms things down. What a treasure.
This beautiful film, directed by John Sayles, with his lyrical screenplay (based on a Rosalie K. Fry novel), stands the test of time. Sayles found inspiration in the poetic Celtic folklore about selkies, where seals transform into humans. I suggest using the subtitles, in order not to miss a word of the lovely dialogue. The cinematography with the characters in a luminous Irish landscape of sea, sky, seals, islands, and coast is exquisite.
A young girl, Fiona, is the center of the narrative; a serious, lonely child, she is sent to live with her grandparents and cousin Eamon on the west coast of Ireland by her grief-stricken father. He is lost, part of the wave of displaced immigrants, nicknamed "scousers" in ports like Liverpool (scouse shortened from "lobscouse," derived from a Norse fish-stew eaten by dockworkers and sailors). Jeni Courtney perfectly plays Fiona, with remarkable subtlety and nuance. She explores her new environment, longing to go out to sea with her cousin and grandfather, to see the island of Roan Inish. One afternoon, a brooding young man (the excellent actor and writer John Lynch) tells Fiona about the selkies, and regales her with the legend of how one of their common village ancestors met a mysterious woman who gave birth to the dark ones of their community; a beautiful woman (John Lynch's real-life sister, Susan Lynch, another fine actor) is really a selkie, whose babies were lulled to sleep by the sound of the sea from a special cradle, the same cradle Fiona's lost baby brother Jamie had ...
Fiona learns that her family was forced to leave the magical island of Roan Inish; her kindly grandmother teaches her about cooking their traditional seaweed stew over the hearth. Once Fiona discovers Roan Inish herself, she and Eamon work hard to refurbish the abandoned cottages. She tells her family that she actually saw young Jamie running wild on the island, with only a seal for company, but no one believes her. Those who know the grief of family torn apart by strife may especially understand Fiona's drive to return to Roan Inish and search for her brother.
This film is filled with gentle magic; "Harry Potter" has ruined little magic, the glimpse you might catch out of the corner of your eye. Such magic is in all our lives. It's still there, but if you're not looking, you might just miss it. Nowadays, many people expect to see the fantastical, like that in "Harry Potter" and the like, they are not looking for the little magic that actually exists. "The Secret of Roan Inish" is replete with little magic, love, and kindness. Enjoy!
If you're looking for a change of pace for your family, then this is it. We get tired of all the current family-friendly films that aren't very deep and sometimes aren't really family-friendly. This movie is eerily beautiful and quiet. It forces you into a trance and leaves you feeling peaceful. A++!
I bought this to watch before our sons christening as we had named him Ronan! It was a lovely telling of an old Irish story. One of many! We live in London now and it was nice to feel wrapped in a warm quilt of Irish mythology. One to have in the collection to show him as he gets older. Buy it. U won't be disappointed
What a gem! An Irish fable with a light twist of whimsey in the telling. If you like being carried off by a film to a different view of life and it's meaning, you'll enjoy this movie.
A family, struggling with the loss of a mother and son in seperate incidents, experience a joyous revival of spirits, thanks to Fiona, their very determined young daughter who "doesn't lie" and believes in the power of love, family and their shared heritage. This is a mythical tale as best told in the Emerald Isle.
A "small m" intimate movie featuring wonderful performances from all but especially from young Jenny Courtney, great exteriors and sets and an excellent soundtrack.
5.0 out of 5 starsand quite happily view it over and over again
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 29, 2015
I have wanted this DVD ever since the film was made in the Village where my late wife was born and where we have been going on holiday for the last 45 years. Apart from the personal view, I found the story and the making of the film quite delightful. I shall treasure this, and quite happily view it over and over again. The special effect were quite outstanding.