Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea
Voices of: Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt, David Rawle, Lisa Hannigan and Jon Kenny

Rated: PG for some mild peril, language and pipe smoking images.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 13, 2015 Released by: StudioCanal

Tomm Moore's imaginative animated prowess after the altruistic, soulful The Secret of Kells is back to contend for an Academy Award (it may be tough against the likes of How To Train Your Dragon 2) almost feeling like a lushly mesmerizing children's book. One with a gentility that opposes the ebullience of typical high-tech 3D CGI presentations that can resonate with its watercolor backgrounds.

Song of the Sea is rooted in Celtic folklore as demonstrated by captivatingly sweet sounds from Irish folk group Kila and composer Bruno Coulais, as well as a narrative which is uncompromisingly viable.

Saoirse (Lucy O'Connell) is not your ordinary 6-year-old Irish lass, especially after the disappearance of her wavy, black-coiffed elegantly singing mother (Lisa Hannigan) after her birth with an inherited special mythical quality as a 'selkie' (depending on habitat taking the form of human or seal).  It left lighthouse-keeper father Conor (voice of Brendan Gleeson) distraught and older brother Ben (voiced by David Rawle) upset at her about mom's departure.

But, the early portion ends wistfully as obnoxious worrying grandmother (voiced by Fionnula Flanagan) relocates them her urban domicile sans Dad and beloved shaggy sheepdog Cu.

A refreshing, artful retro tale bonded by tradition and understanding of children works around a quest to return to the lighthouse and Saoirse's precious plane. The adventures of siblings who grow to love one another and be co-dependent has a harrowing (below the surface) passage on the way to a more soothing sanctuary. Allies include fairies and seals while an eerie owl witch lurks in overall proceedings being less sonorous that could make some smaller fry grow a tad restless. Nevertheless, the confidence and vividness into a less common world has Moore creating his kind of cinematic magic in this subtly stirring Sea blessed with song.

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Song of the Sea        A                     A 

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