"Ondine," the latest movie from Irish director Neil Jordan, which stars Colin Farrell as a bemused Irish fisherman who finds what may be a mermaid in his net, has opened to rave reviews.
The New York Times loved it:
“Mr. Farrell’s likable, easy-does-it performance — he’s skating on charm, but the charm is choice — along with Mr. Doyle’s photography and Mr. Jordan’s blend of fantasy and fiction, keep the film’s first pleasantly uneventful hour afloat. And Mr. Farrell and Mr. Doyle continue to hold your gaze, even as Mr. Jordan’s screenplay sets your mind to wandering.
“There is, as noted, a wisp of a tale tucked into this film, one that, as the story wears on, becomes ponderously weighed down with melodramatic filler and even some halfhearted genre action. That stuff is forgettable, but hold fast to that wisp, because it’s there that a man meets a mermaid, or maybe he doesn’t, and you don’t care because the light is so lovely, and so too are they.”
So did the Los Angeles Times:
“At times, the narrative flows beautifully, particularly in the growing connection between Syracuse and “Ondine”, the slow reveal of who they really are, the delicious tension in their tentativeness. Farrell exposes much with those dark eyes and wary hesitations. It's hard not to wish more filmmakers would tap into that quieter, more vulnerable side.
“At other times, the road is rocky when the story speeds up to take care of business, with the end a mad dash to tie up loose ends. Still, there is enough saving grace on these craggy shores to let the mists and the legends roll in and envelop you for a while
The Huffington Post agrees:
“But ( Neil Jordan and Colin Farrell) both have rediscovered themselves when they return to smaller, more complex work -- and such is the case with “Ondine”, their first collaboration. A witty, fanciful and touching film, “Ondine” is part myth, part fairy tale, part wistful romance. It's quietly surprising in its own lovely way.”
So it looks like a major success for Jordan and Farrell, who have both had their share of poor reviews in recent years.