The Quiet Girl review – A very touching story about the Irish countryside that really sounds like a classic | Movies

THis beautiful and emotional first-time director Colm Berriad, based on Foster’s novel by Claire Keegan, is a comprehensive look at our fallen world; It really does feel like a classic. There’s a lovely scene where the “Quiet Girl” from the title, 10-year-old Kate (played by newcomer Catherine Clinch), reads Heidi before bed, and this film, despite the darkness and pent-up pain, has the solidity, clarity, and storytelling fervor of an old children’s story. In the Alps – about the little girl who was sent away to live in a beautiful place with her grandfather.

The setup, as we can roughly work from car registration plates, is the early 1980s, in County Wexford, Ireland, where Irish is mostly spoken (translated into English). Kate is a reclusive little girl, one of many siblings, always wandering alone over the farmland: the first shot has a deception of some sort, hinting at a frightening fate. Cáit is often open-eyed, silent and alert, much to the chagrin of her exhausted and now severely pregnant mother (Kate Nick Chunai) and her bully, abusive and starving father (Michael Patrick). Naturally, without telling Cáit or paying any attention to her feelings in any way, her parents decided they needed a break from looking after her and packaged the girl for the summer to her mother’s cousin Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and her young farmer husband Seán (Andrew) Bennett, who had upset her small estate The more prosperous and better managed is Cáit’s grumpy father as he drives to deliver her. He can barely summon good morals for a conversation before getting back in his car to get home, and in his bad haste, he suffers from amnesia that will have dire consequences for Cáit’s new life.

Crowley and Bennett give a heart-wrenching stellar performance as the unfortunate, childless couple who host Kate: especially Crowley as Ebelin, a well-bred, intelligent and elegant woman who engages as brightly with a child as no one has ever been inside of her. life. But Kate soon understands that they have a “secret”, which her cynical father already seems to know.

As this long, hot summer progresses as childhood continues, Kate McCullough’s brilliant cinematography and Emma Lowney’s production design create a magical new world for Cáit to feel simultaneously threatened and exalted: nearly every shot is a clearly composed and graphic gem. Above all, there is the mysterious artificial rainwater pond in the surrounding forests which Ebelin says has supernatural powers. A set of black comedy and satire is presented by neighbor Úna (a great performance by Joan Sheehy) who takes care of Cáit one afternoon and brutally tells the girl what her adoptive parents wouldn’t tell her – and Bairéad lets you cleverly suspect that Ebelin wanted to put up with Anna the horrific burden of revealing this. Perhaps the calm of Cáit is the calm of an abuse victim, or perhaps the calm of an intelligent person who knows that not speaking is the key to survival. As Seán told her, “A lot of people have missed the opportunity to say anything.” And when Cáit returns home, it’s her failure to obey this golden rule, and to cancel out the phrase “nothing happened,” which would inflict a new stab of pain.

In another kind of movie, the lazier kind, all that stillness and rustic beauty, seen by a vaguely silent child accustomed to vanishing invisibly into the landscape, would be a harbinger of something terrible or violent to come before the final credits. . But The Quiet Girl does something nicer than this, plus it’s more real and honest. It is a gem.

The Quiet Girl was released on May 13 in cinemas and at Curzon Home Cinema.

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