An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie.
On the coast of Cork, Syracuse is a divorced fisherman who has stopped drinking. His precocious daughter Annie has failing kidneys. One day, he finds a nearly-drowned young woman in his net; she calls herself Ondine and wants no one to see her. He puts her up in an isolated cottage that was his mother's. Annie discovers Ondine's presence and believes she is a selkie, a seal that turns human while on land. Syracuse is afraid to hope again.
- ONDINE is a lyrical modern fairy tale that tells the story of Syracuse (Colin Farrell), an Irish fisherman whose life is transformed when he catches a beautiful and mysterious woman (Alicja Bachleda) in his nets. She says her name is Ondine, which means "she came from the sea". His daughter Annie (Alison Barry) comes to believe that the woman is a selkie, a magical seal/woman creature, while Syracuse falls helplessly in love. In the Celtic myth, a selkie is able to become human by taking off her seal coat, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. However, like all fairy tales, enchantment and darkness go hand in hand. Annie hopes that Ondine has come to live on land for 7 years and that she can use her selkie wish to cure Annie's kidney failure. Whenever Ondine is onboard Syracuse's fishing boat, she sings a siren song, and his nets and lobster pots are full of fish and seafood in tremendous numbers hard to believe. However, being Irish, Syracuse (or "Circus" the nickname he is trying to outlive, one he has earned for his previous hard drinking ways) is mistrustful of good luck, with it comes bad. Is Ondine really a selkie, will she stay, can love be trusted? What is Ondine's real secret? And who is the menacing man lurking around town spying on her? Is he her selkie husband come to claim her back to the sea?
Written and directed by Neil Jordan and shot against the Irish coast's magical backdrop by cinematographer Christopher Doyle - ONDINE is a story of love, hope, and the unwavering belief in the impossible.