Title: Song Of The Sea

Director: Tomm Moore

Genre: Animation

Voices: Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Lisa Hannigan, Pat Shortt.

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 87th Academy Awards in 2015, ‘Song Of The Sea’ is the latest gem produced by the Irish production company Cartoon Saloon. The story is set in the Emerald Isle (famous for its stories about fairies and Celtic creatures), during the 1980s.

Ben is a ten year old who lives with his little sister Saoirse and father Conor in a lighthouse, on an island off the Irish coast. Bronach, their selkie mother, returned to the sea six years previously, leaving Ben devastated and his father unable to cope. Troubled Ben grows increasingly resentful of mute Saoirse, who appears to embody the selkie tales told to him by his mother and whom he blames for her abrupt departure. When Saoirse discovers a white sealskin coat she is called to the sea and it is revealed that, she too, is a selkie and swims with the seals until she is washed up ashore, prompting Granny to take the children to the city for their own safety. Yearning to return home, they run away and in their adventurous quest, they encounter a host of mythical characters inhabiting a lost and forgotten world. These creatures will either help or hinder their challenging venture, to see them safely back to the island, and free the faerie folk from the curse made by Celtic Goddess Macha.

Voiced by an all-star Irish cast, including Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Lisa Hannigan and Pat Shortt, ‘Song Of The Sea’ is a retrospective celebration to Irish culture and landscape, just as Tomm Moore’s previous film ‘The Secret of Kells’.

Through his hand-drawn, water-coloured aesthetics we are brought back to what reminds us of the Aran Islands, drenched with the melancholic beauty. We are thusly presented with a panorama that Edmund Burke epitomised in the sublime power of nature.

The narrative intrigue of the film and the poetic artistry of the animated drawings will evoke the inner child of each spectator, as the children face adversity to return home and save the day, with the enchanting Irish music to lead the way.

Technical: B

Acting: B

Story: A

Overall: B+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Song Of The Sea Movie Review

By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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