Friday Film Review | 'The Quiet Girl'
Can one summer change the life of a painfully shy 9-year-old girl?
Set in rural Ireland in 1981, 'The Quiet Girl' tells the story of a nine-year-old girl named Cáit. Cáit (played by newcomer Catherine Clinch) is extremely shy, quiet, and almost invisible among her large and impoverished family. Her father (played by Michael Patric) is primarily absent, spending his days gambling with the family's little money, and Cáit's mother (played by Kate Nic Chonaonaigh) is about to deliver another child.
Cáit struggles on many levels - emotionally, socially, and academically – all of which contribute to a case of chronic bedwetting. However, when Cáit reaches a breaking point, she copes by quietly disappearing.
Following a recent episode at school, Cáit's parents decide to send Cáit to live with an older couple, who are distant relatives of her mother, for the summer.
The couple Eibhlín and Seán (played by Carrie Crowley and Andrew Bennett) have no children and live on a pastoral farm three hours away from Cáit's family.
Eibhlín warmly welcomes Cáit while Seán keeps his distance.
It takes some time for Cáit to become comfortable in her new surroundings - including her own room, healthy meals, and bathtub of her own. Cáit is also cautious in accepting attention and nurturing from Eibhlín.
Seán is slow to bond with Cáit, but the two become close over time as Cáit helps with chores around the farm.
The once timid and silent Cáit begins to thrive and engage with others from Eibhlín and Seán's small village. However, during a visit with one of their neighbors, Cáit discovers a tragic secret from Eibhlín and Seán's past.
'The Quiet Girl' is written and directed by Colm Bairéad and adapted from a short story by Claire Keegan. The film's cinematography captures the beauty of a summer in rural Ireland, a beautiful backdrop for this heartwarming coming-of-age story.
Rated PG13 and running one hour and 34 minutes, 'The Quiet Girl' is presented in Gaelic with English subtitles.
Screening next month at Park City Film, 'The Quiet Girl' is a film worth watching about love and found family.