Review: The Quiet Girl
In rural Ireland in the early 80's, a shy nine year old Cáit (Catherine Clinch) is the outcast of her very large and poor family. Her mother is pregnant with baby number 6, her father is an alcoholic, her older sisters tease her. To get her off their case, her parents sent her to live with distant relatives Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and Seán (Andrew Bennett) who she's never met.
This is Ireland's submission for Best International Film (the majority of the film is in the Irish language) and from here on out, you will hear me screaming about this from the rooftops. It's a beauty of a film.
I was a quiet kid myself so I immediately connected with Cáit. She doesn't misbehave, she's not malicious, she's just awkward and only speaks when she truly has something to say. I loved her immediately. Watching Cáit come out of her shell and truly find her place with the Cinnsealachs was a joy. Like our title character, this is a very quiet film. Its beautiful cinematography is what brings it to life, perfectly showing the world through Cáit's eyes. It's lovely to witness.
There's a sadness to this tale, and one that Clinch, Crowley and Bennett are up for the task of handling. It wasn't what I expected either, reading the synopsis. I appreciate the stillness of it. There's no huge outbursts or dramatic fights. Life isn't always like that, sometimes we just carry on.
I think that's a testament to how well this film is made. Movies where "not much happens" are always going to be a hard sell to a general audience and I hope that doesn't end up being a big hurdle for its distribution. I hope this finds its way into many people's hands. It deserves it.