Ondine (Empire Review)

OndineSquareIn his best film since The Crying Game, Neil Jordan spins a magical yarn for grown-ups, as trawlerman Syracuse (Farrell) fishes a beautiful, semi-naked stranger (Bachleda) out of his net. Has he rescued a drowning immigrant? Or is she, as his daughter suspects, a ‘selkie’ – a mythical sea creature able to assume form for short periods of time? Leagues away from the Hollywood gloss of Splash, Ondine is funny, whimsical, and as warming as a big bowl of Irish stew. Farrell’s natural accent and roguish charm make for a winning performance, while Polish actress-singer Bachleda is arguably the most beautiful, beguiling newcomer since Nastassja Kinski – and a much better actress. She’s Farrell’s real-life squeeze, but even he couldn’t love her as much as Jordan’s camera.

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