Year: 2009
Production Co: Wayfare Entertainment
Director: Neil Jordan
Producer: Neil Jordan
Writer: Neil Jordan
Cast: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Alison Barry

I got the strong feeling this was a downhill slide movie for both Neil Jordan and Colin Farrell. The former's glory days of The Crying Game and Interview With the Vampire are long behind him, and Farrell's bad boy act wore thin a little quick. Miami Vice was his last really high profile film.

None of which detracts from the high quality of the film. Jordan wields a slow moving camera and captures beautiful images of the small seaside Irish town in a film you think might be a fairy tale.

Blue collar fisherman Syracuse (Farrell, giving the thickest brogue I've ever heard from him) pulls his net up one day to find a beautiful young woman unconscious in it. He manages to revive her but she's terrified and disoriented, not wanting to reveal too much about herself or be seen by anyone else.

Depositing Ondine into hiding at his dead mothers country cottage Syracuse tries to return to normality – dealing with his drunkard ex wife and be a loving father to his sickly but cute little girl Annie (Barry).

But as he tells Annie the story of the fisherman who pulled up the beautiful girl Annie is convinced Ondine is a selkie – a mythical, water-nymph creature. She half has Syracuse believing it too, particularly after the good luck she visits upon his life. He starts hauling in record catches and Ondine seems only to want he and Annie in her life, Syracuse and her quickly falling for each other.

The arrival of a dark-eyed, sinister stranger ups the stakes and Ondine tells Syracuse and Annie he's her selkie husband come to claim her back to the sea, promising them she wants to stay with them.

The reality is altogether more worldly and after you've watched it you'll think back and realise how silly the whole premise was. But Jordan's lovely vision, the vistas of the Irish coast and the winsome Bachleda as the sea creature will win you over. And if they don't, the heart-breakingly gorgeous end track by Irish folk singer Lisa Hannigan will.

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