The Quiet Girl

The Quiet Girl, Colm Bairéad’s multi-award-winning Irish-language drama, might be small in scale, but it’s one of the most exquisitely realised films of the year.

The quiet girl is Cáit (the remarkable Catherine Clinch), one of an ever-expanding brood of neglected kids on an impoverished smallholding in early-80s rural Ireland. With her mother expecting yet another baby, and her father skulking sullenly in the background like an unspoken threat, Cáit is sent to stay with distant relatives: warm, wise Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) wraps her in love immediately; Seán (Andrew Bennett) is taciturn and reserved but no less bonded to the child. Under their care, Cáit blossoms. “All you needed was some minding,” says Eibhlín.

It’s an accomplished work from first-time feature director Bairéad, who, appropriately, has the knack of telling us everything we need to know without words: a tense momentary standoff over some sticks of rhubarb, for example, is more eloquent than pages of dialogue could ever be.

Programme Type: Film

Director: Colm Bairéad

Cast: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett

Certificate: 12

Running Time: 95 minutes

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