Michael Farr (Ciaran Hinds) is a recent widower who has resigned himself to raising his 10 and 14 year-old kids alone. The grieving clan lives along Ireland's seacoast in a verdant, fog-enshrouded town whose only claim to fame is hosting an annual literary festival.
Schoolteacher Michael picked a practical profession, putting his dream of becoming a writer on hold in order to be able to provide for his family. However, he still harbors the hope of one day pursuing his true passion. Meanwhile, the only brushes he enjoys with the publishing industry is when he works as a volunteer at the aforementioned festival.
This summer, he's been assigned to serve as a chauffeur for Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), a best-selling author known for novels exploring supernatural themes. Her specialty dovetails conveniently with the fact that Michael's been seeing ghosts ever since his wife's passing. The plot gradually thickens as he develops a crush on Lena during her stay, because she's the first person to give credence to his claim of feeling the presence otherworldly apparitions.
However, although Lena lends a sympathetic ear, she's doesn't think of him romantically. For she already has plans to rendezvous with Nicholas Holden (Aidan Quinn), the equally-renowned colleague she met and slept with at this same gathering the previous year.
But she had been too passionate back then to have the patience to learn much about her lover like the fact that he was married. This time around, the truth comes out in ugly fashion, and the miffed mistress ends up a tad torn about continuing to carry on an illicit liaison with a proverbial Ugly American she now recognizes as a bit of a narcissist.
So, as the days go by, the question becomes whether ardent admirer Michael might actually have a shot with this brilliant bluestocking way above his station whom he's been secretly pining for from afar. So unfolds The Eclipse, an atmospheric adventure directed by Conor McPherson which proves to be as worthwhile for its breathtaking cinematography as for the intriguing love triangle it spins ever so deliberately, delectably and delightfully.
A literary lass finds more than she bargained for while looking for love on the Emerald Isle.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated R for profanity and disturbing images.
Running time: 88 Minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures