The Secret of Roan Inish

1994

Drama / Family / Fantasy

0
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 6947

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Director

Cast

John Lynch as Tadhg
Susan Lynch as Selkie

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by cherold 8 / 10

charming and magical

I saw this listed in TV guide, and watched it because the description made me imagine it would be a simple, charming movie. I didn't realize it was a John Sayles movie until I saw his name on the credits and then I thought it might be something different; I don't associate Sayles with simple family movies. But in fact, this is pretty much the movie I was hoping for, full of Irish charm and blarney, beautiful filmed and full of magic and wonder. One hesitates to call it a children's movie or a family movie because those are generally awful, but it is very much the sort of movie that is perfect to take the family too (although it is unaccountably rated PG). But it's not *just* a kid's movie, it's a movie with magic for anyone, and I would put it in the same category as Alfonso Cuarón's A Little Princess, another movie that treats children not in the Disney aren't-they-cute way but as real thinking individuals. This is a lovely drama featuring a child rather than a kid's movie, but it works on either level.

Reviewed by lostein 9 / 10

A Wonderful Tale with a Fearless Young Heroine

I love this movie for a number of reasons. First, its just a beautiful setting. Second, John Sayles does not succumb to Hollywood norms and resort to special effects, rock songs or cheap dramatic plot twists to jazz up what seems to be a simple folk tale. Most of all, I love that all of the characters are allowed their humanity and dignity. Fiona, the 10 year girl who is at the center of the film, follows her curiosity in a brave but realistic way, never spouting wise cracks so common with most American child characters. Imagine being told an old family story by your favorite Uncle or Grandfather while sitting around a living room late at night, with only the low light provided by the glow of a fire or one old lamp so nothing distracts your imagination's journey. That is what this film is like...

Reviewed by Captain Ed 9 / 10

Charming and full of wonder

The Secret of Roan Inish is a departure for John Sayles, in that his normal cynicism and mildly jaundiced eye is replaced by the completely credulous child's view, and his film is all the more charming because of it. In essence, this is a children's movie, and only through Sayles' brilliance are we adults allowed in.

Roan Inish is a deserted island off the coast of Donegal, where Fiona's mother died and her baby brother was lost at sea. Her father has moved to the city but Fiona is sent back to live with her grandparents for her health. Her grandparents live on the coast opposite Roan Inish, having moved off the island at the same time. In fact, the Conneelys have a very special bond with Roan Inish, as Fiona starts to discover as she talks with the local townfolk, especially to a dark and brooding relative named Tadhg. Tadhg tells her about the selkie -- a shapeshifter of Irish lore who is half-seal and half-human -- and why Roan Inish is so important to the family. From that, Fiona must unravel the mystery of what happened to her baby brother.

I don't want to spoil any of the story, so rather than recount any more of the plot, I'll just tell you that all the performances are wonderful. Mick Lally as the grandfather especially shines, as does Eileen Colgan as the grandmother. Jeni Courtney is terrific as young Fiona and Richard Sheridan as Eamonn, her young cousin, is very good too. In fact, I couldn't pick out any bad performances at all.

The Secret of Roan Inish features some beautiful Irish music, both instrumental and Irish-language, and of course features lush cinematography of the Donegal area and coast. Beautifully shot, wonderfully written and performed, and masterfully directed, The Secret of Roan Inish will delight everyone in the family. Don't hesitate to buy or rent this one.

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