The Quiet Girl appears to tell a simple story about a young girl, Cáit (newcomer Catherine Clinch, who shows incredible range in her brilliant and award-winning acting debut). She’s relocated to live with foster parents for a Summer to relieve the tension in her household. The house she moves to temporarily is owned by a sweet, older couple (Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett), and Cáit is almost immediately met with nurturing support. Following an expected trope in this family dynamic, the husband is a tad reclusive and takes more time to allow himself to open up. Under this new care, Cáit explores different interests which results in her personality expanding and her guarded emotions becoming more vulnerable.
The Quiet Girl, for as typical it may seem, is driven by more heart than the audience expects. The relationships between Cáit and her different families are different, which allows writer/director Colm Bairéad to play with the contrast between each dynamic. There’s a wholesome energy that generates whenever Clinch and Crowley share the screen together, as Cáit understands the importance of compassion that hadn’t been taught to her before. This new growth also helps develop sympathetic traits when the girl finds out more about the couple’s tragic past which, in turn, assists the adults with their grief.
Bairéad (who adapts this story from Claire Keegan’s novella Foster) has given audiences an affirming drama that’s absolutely deserving of its recent Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film. It may break your heart by the final frame but, honestly, the movie will revitalize your outlook on humanity.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie