Ondine (film)

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Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed by Neil Jordan
Produced by Ben Browning
James Flynn
Neil Jordan
Written by Neil Jordan
Starring Colin Farrell
Alicja Bachleda
Music by Kjartan Sveinsson
Cinematography Christopher Doyle
Edited by Tony Lawson
Wayfare Entertainment
Little Wave
Octagon Films
Distributed by Magnolia Pictures
Paramount Vantage
Release dates
  • 14 September 2009 (2009-09-14) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • 5 March 2010 (2010-03-05) (Ireland)
Running time
111 minutes
Country Ireland[1]
Language English
Budget $12 million[2]
Box office $1,644,755[2]

Ondine is a 2009 Irish romantic drama film directed and written by Neil Jordan and starring Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda.


Syracuse (Colin Farrell), called "Circus", is an Irish fisherman and former drunk, with a daughter named Annie, who is suffering from kidney failure and uses a motorised wheelchair, and an alcoholic ex-wife named Maura. One day, he finds a young woman (Alicja Bachleda-Curus) called Ondine in his net, whom he resuscitates. The woman is disoriented, but refuses hospitalisation and doesn't want to be seen by people, so Syracuse takes her to his deceased mother's house.

Later, at dialysis, he tells Annie a story about a fisherman who pulled in his nets and discovered a woman. Annie believes the woman in the net is a selkie. Syracuse believes the woman brings him luck as every time she sings a song, his fishing net comes up full of fish and lobsters. A man is seen lurking around the docks several times, seemingly looking for someone or something. Maura's current boyfriend, Alex, dies in a car crash while driving drunk with her. At the hospital, Syracuse learns that Alex was carrying a donor card, and his kidneys are the right match for Annie's transplant operation. At Alex's funeral, Maura insists Syracuse has a drink with her in his honour, causing him to fall off the wagon and drink excessively.

It is later revealed that Ondine is actually a Romanian drug mule and the man lurking around the docks is the man Ondine works for (her "pește"), after Syracuse discovers the song she sang is well known Icelandic song by Sigur Rós. The man finds Ondine and wants the backpack (full of drugs) she lost at sea while trying to evade the Coast Guard, which is why Syracuse found Ondine in the sea. After a violent confrontation at Syracuse's mother's cabin, Ondine agrees to take the Romanians out to sea (the backpack is in the ocean inside a lobster trap).

As the Romanians are trying to get the trap, Ondine makes the Peste fall overboard by pulling on the rope he is standing on. Syracuse grabs the other one and dives into the water. The Peste drowns while trying to open the lobster trap, while the other one is brought back to the boat by Syracuse and is arrested ashore. In the end Syracuse marries Ondine so that she can stay in Ireland, but mostly because he and Annie love her.



Filming began on 18 July 2008 on location in Castletownbere in Ireland, and was scheduled to finish on 6 August 2008.[3]

Ondine had its European premiere as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival on 18 February 2010 in Dublin, Ireland. The film was released in the United States on 4 June 2010 by Magnolia Pictures with a MPAA Rating of PG-13 for some violence, sensuality and brief strong language.[citation needed]


Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 70% based on 94 reviews, with the site's consensus: Flawed but charming, Ondine reaffirms writer-director Neil Jordan's gift for myth, magic, and wonder.[4]

Critics praised the film for its atmospheric almost dreamlike quality[5] while some have criticised the ending.[6][7] Critics have also praised the performances of Colin Farrell and Alison Barry as Annie, with Mary Pols stating: "Barry is such a relaxed and strong performer that she manages to shrug off the burden of Annie's precociousness."[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The Irish Film and Television Awards for Ondine (Octagon Films), 20 February 2010:

  • Actor in a Lead Role: Film: Colin Farrell
  • Supporting Actress in a Film: Dervla Kirwan
  • Production Design: Anna Rackard
  • Sound: Brendan Deasy, Tom Johnson & Sarah Gaines


Music from Icelandic group Sigur Rós and Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan feature strongly in the film.[9]


  1. ^ "Ondine Scoops Golden Goblet for Best Cinematography at Prestigious Shanghai Festival". irishfilmboard.ie. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Ondine (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2010-09-30. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "IFTN – Rea, Kirwan & Wycherley Join Farrell For 'Ondine'". Iftn.ie. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Ondine (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Review from LA times". Los Angeles Times. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "Review From Philonfilm". Philonfilm.blogspot.com. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Review from". NYpost.com. 4 June 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Pols, Mary (3 June 2010). "Review from". Time.com. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  9. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1235796/soundtrack

External links[edit]