The Quiet Girl (2022)
The Quiet Girl, set in 1980s County Waterford and with dialogue in Irish Gaelige, made a great impression on us. The film sparked many emotional memories of our own childhood experiences. The Quiet Girl is based on Claire Keegan’s 2010 novella.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called this film “a jewel” and we agreed. We loved how everything was seen from 10-year-old Cáit’s point of view. Newcomer Catherine Clinch gave a perfect performance, transforming from a distrustful child who was always running away to an open and confident girl, able to express feelings of love.
Kate McCullough’s superb cinematography conveyed the difference between Cáit’s dark, chaotic and abusive rural home life and the magical bright new world she experiences when she is sent to stay with her mother’s cousin Eibhlín and husband, Seán, on their far smarter farm.
Cáit’s growing relationship with this kind couple with a sad secret is conveyed through significant moments, a key one being a biscuit left on the table by Seán. We were delighted to find out from a member of the discussion group that this was an Irish Kimberly biscuit – ginger with a filling of marshmallow.
First time director Colm Bairéad gave us a gently paced film where a story is slowly revealed with subtlety. Stephen Rennicks’ fine music was appreciated. A member of the group suggested we look at Scrapper and the Belgian film Playground, as they had similar childhood themes. Perhaps they could go on our possible list for next season? Goodbye Mr Tom was also recommended.
We certainly all agreed that The Quiet Girl is a modern classic.