Movie review: The Secret of Roan Inish

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The girls and I watched The Secret of Roan Inish this afternoon, as I took the day off to hang out with them during their February vacation.   We followed up with a lunch out and a few hours of sledding, so all in all, a good time was had by all.

This was especially true for the movie.  I was a little worried going into it, as I wasn't sure how interesting it would be for them. And some comments on Netflix said the Irish accent was hard to understand, with one commenter going as far to suggest turning on the subtitles! I'm not sure what they were thinking of, as none of us had a problem with the accents, although they did want to know what "daft" meant.

In The Secret of Roan Inish, Fiona, played with an amazing winsomeness by newcomer Jeni Courtney, gets sent back to Ireland after her mother dies after the family relocated to Glasgow for the work.  She gets sent to stay with her grandparents, who are living on the shore, just across from the ancestral home on the island of Roan Inish, which they had all evacuated a few years before. Fiona's younger brother was lost during the move as his cradle got washed out to sea.  But could he still be there on the island? And can Fiona and her cousin Eamon figure out how to rescue him?

Based on the popular children's book, The Secret of Ron Mor Skerry by Rosalie K. Fry, John Sayles, as both the director and screenwriter, once again hits a home run.  While the twisting narrative was probably a bit hard for the girls to follow (lots of stories, dreams and remembrances, some told with voice overs and some not), we all really enjoyed the movie.  It was, perhaps, a tad talky at times, but still engrossing, even for the six year old.

After we watched it, I watched the Sayles commentary, like I always do for a Sayles movie, as the commentaries are usually insightful and interesting.  And this one was no exception. He does a great job of explaining both the trivia of the movie and the thoughts behind the shot making. But other than the commentary and some trailers, there were no other extras.  The soundtrack for the movie was only Dolby Digital 2.0, and the picture itself was a little fuzzy, perhaps befitting its budget movie status.  I'm not really sure what earned it the PG rating.  Perhaps the early funeral of her mother, and some scenes of the selkie, her great-great-grandmother as a mythical creature able to turn human by shedding her seal skin.  But the girls enjoyed it as much as I did. Another Sayles winner, for sure.



2 Comments

[this is good] Oh, fantastic :)  I haven't watched that movie since I was a kid, but I loved it back then.  I don't know if I even remember what it was about.

Now you're making me feel old! I wish I was just a kid when this movie first came out (1994).  I did get the book from the library, so we'll see how it compares. Funny, as it is the official "Movie tie-in book", so it is titled the same as the movie title, but I don't think they changed anything else.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on February 20, 2007 7:36 PM.

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