10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie - a seal ... See full summary »
A young British girl born and raised in India loses her neglectful parents in an earthquake. She is returned to England to live at her uncle's estate. Her uncle is very distant due to the ... See full summary »
Iris (who goes by the name "Ira") and her family live on a beet farm in 1965. She is almost 12, which means she has only one last summer until she has to work with her older sisters on the ... See full summary »
A young boy in a remote medieval outpost under siege from barbarian raids is beckoned to adventure when a celebrated master illuminator arrives with an ancient book, brimming with secret wisdom and powers.
In 19th-century India, little Mary Lennox is suddenly orphaned by cholera. Her only living relative is her crook-backed uncle, Archibald Craven, so Mary is sent to live at his estate on the... See full summary »
Sarah Hollis Andrews,
American businessman Jack Woods rents a cottage on the enchanted Emerald Isle which is occupied by a family of leprechauns. Leprechaun Seamus Muldoon's son and son's friends crash the ... See full summary »
When a teenaged boy learns that his mother has taken a job on a remote island off mainland Australia, he is shattered that he must leave his friends and girlfriend and come with them. But ... See full summary »
10-year-old Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents in a small fishing village in Donegal, Ireland. She soon learns the local legend that an ancestor of hers married a Selkie - a seal who can turn into a human. Years earlier, her baby brother washed out to sea in a cradle shaped like a boat; someone in the family believes the boy is being raised by the seals. Then Fiona catches sight of a naked little boy on the abandoned Isle of Roan Inish and takes an active role in uncovering The Secret of Roan Inish. Written by John Oswalt. Modified by Nancy Janelle. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?