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The Quiet Girl

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“All you needed was some minding.” Eibhlin (Carrie Crowley)

Cait (Catherine Clinch)is an Irish 9-year-old in 1981, neglected and quiet even more than that age usually allows. Shuffled off to a distant relative’s home for the summer, she discovers a loving care rarely seen in real life and not in contemporary dysfunctional-family-obsessed cinema.

This quiet farm is smallholding in rural ‘80’s Ireland, for the work is daily and hourly mostly by Sean (Andrew Bennett), the middle-aged foster parent, whose quiet affection for Cait is the film’s warm surprise. Providing Cait with her first and most powerful affection is his wife, Eibhlin, who has lost a young son to at tragic accident and shows all how fine a mother she was meant to be.

It's the small stuff that show the real love—peeling potatoes and running for the mail, for example. In fact, nothing grand happens in this Oscar-nominated film, more in the Seinfeld tradition than Guardians of the Galaxy. Controversy is small as well, for example, a little face-off about rhubarb.

Each frame exudes a care that transforms the quiet adolescent into a loving companion for the older couple. Mind you, it is minimalism in its pure form: we can infer from conversation and small acts the depth this burgeoning love is going to.

The Quiet Girl is a Irish treasure, where the small acts breed love like cleaning the dairy floor with a smile. Mix that in with writer-director Colm Bairead’s choice of green Irish landscape and ancient farm houses and you have an intensely satisfying drama that will delight cinephiles and introduce the rest to a quiet tale about a quiet girl.

The Quiet Girl

Director: Colm Bairead

Screenplay: Bairead

Cast: Carrie Crowley(Extra Ordinary), Michael Patric (A Dog’s Purpose)

Run Time: 1h 35 m

Rating: PG-13

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts NPR’s It’s Movie Time and hosts Cinema Classics as well as podcasts Back Talk and Double Take out of WCBE 90.5 FM. Contact him at JohnDeSando52@gmail.com

John DeSando holds a BA from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in English from The University of Arizona. He served several universities as a professor, dean, and academic vice president. He has been producing and broadcasting as a film critic on It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics for more than two decades. DeSando received the Los Angeles Press Club's first-place honors for national entertainment journalism.