The Irish language film The Quiet Girl demonstrates that observation and remaining quiet can often be better at bringing out the truth of life and revealing the character of people.
The Quiet Girl is based on the Claire Keegan short story “Foster.” The film is written by its Director Colm Bairead and Keegan. Catherine Clinch plays Cait – The Quiet Girl – with a level of perfection rarely seen in a role so demanding.
The Quiet Girl shines because its presents aspects of life and the people living it with simplicity and in measured tones. The film’s 93 minute runtime feels perfect as well.
Cait is the youngest child of five girls in a family with another child on the way. Da (Dad) and Mam (Mom) are farmers that do not appear to be thriving. The setting is Ireland in 1981. Mam and Da are clearly worn down by life. The implication is Cait is neglected. quiet, a bed-wetter, and talked down to by all members of the family.
Da and Mam decide to send Cait to relatives for the summer, and perhaps longer. The couple is childless. The husband, Sean (Andrew Bennett) is as quiet as Cait. The wife, Eibhlin (Carrie Crowley) takes Cait under her care with a gentle demeanor and full of sincere embrace. As part of the embrace, Eibhlin reassures Cait there are no secrets in this house.
Unfortunately there is a secret, and it is material.
The quality of the script, staging, costuming, cinematography, directing and the acting in The Quiet Girl allow the secret to be revealed in winning fashion. Viewers with patience and lacking in attention deficit syndrome will be highly rewarded.