Set in Rural Ireland in 1981, the film follows a young girl named Cáit (Catherine Clinch). Living with her mother, father, and sisters, her home life is filled with sadness and neglect, and Cáit is quite shy, generally keeping to herself. We see Cáit’s current lifestyle and challenges firsthand, such as when she is told to take a single piece of bread to school for lunch.
With Cáit’s mother currently pregnant, discussions are had between her parents, leading to her being sent away to live with another couple for a short period. Cáit’s father gladly drives her to the home of Seán (Andrew Bennett) and Eibhlín Cinnsealach (Carrie Crowley), both middle-aged people with whom Cáit is unfamiliar and has never met. In the eyes of Cáit, she’s been sent to live with strangers. Unexpectedly, Cáit is offered affection and compassion, particularly from Eibhlín, and simple things she’s never experienced before, such as having a warm hot bath to get clean. Not only does she receive care and love, but Cáit begins to grow and change on a deeper level, and new bonds are slowly developed. However, while Cáit begins to feel joy and hope, she soon discovers a secret that her new carers have hidden from her.
Visually, The Quiet Girl is breathtaking. With sharp and crisp visuals, beautiful locations, and fabulous shots of various sceneries throughout the duration, every moment on-screen is stunning. The director Colm Bairéad delivers a film filled with drama and on-screen beauty, the combination of which I found touching and impacting. The aspect ratio for the entire duration is 4:3 (square), and I must say this was an excellent choice given the film’s tone and time period.
Performances here are perfection, and I must especially commend the talented lead actress, Catherine Clinch. All the performances are convincing, and it’s impossible not to feel compassion for the characters in this film, even those who do not deserve it. The dialogue is well-written and spoken with finesse. Conversations throughout have a natural flow, and even when leads don’t speak (including actress Catherine Clinch), they provide plenty of finer details and emotions to deepen understanding for the audience.
Overall, this film left me in tears and awe. It’s a powerful and unforgettable drama that’s highly touching and filled with many beautiful yet heartbreaking moments. Every moment of this film is visually stunning, and honestly, it’s breathtaking, with sharp and crisp images and beautiful locations and scenery, thanks to director Colm Bairéad. The drama here displays nothing but finesse. Performances cannot be faulted, and the entire cast is excellent with their line delivery and profound expressions, especially Catherine Clinch, who plays the lead. Naturally, The Quiet Girl is a must-watch. The Quiet Girl (2022) is Now Available on DVD.
19th December 2022
Written by Peter Walkden
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Our opinion on this feature has also been submitted to Rotton Tomatoes (Audiences Score*).