Review: The Quiet Girl (2023)

I reviewed by Colm Bairéad’s The Quiet Girl (aka An Cailín Ciúin), an Irish-language film nominated this year for Best International Feature (a first for Irish-language films). Based on a famous short story by Claire Keegan (later turned into a novella), the film is told intimately from a child’s point of view, what she sees, hears, absorbs. It is a quiet film, indeed: she’s quiet, the people who care for her are quiet, and the rhythms are that of farm life – slow, deliberate, careful. But the film did its work. It’s been a long time since I literally dissolved into stormy tears at a film’s final sequence. I was a MESS. The film is not really bilingual. It’s mostly Irish. And that’s kind of a big deal. I reviewed An Cailín Ciúin for Ebert.

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2 Responses to Review: The Quiet Girl (2023)

  1. Clary says:

    Oh, what a film! It seems nothing is happening, but a lots go with just a few words. The girl acts superbly, nothing betrays her quietness, even when she runs.
    The use of such lovely rich and warm pale yellow (I can’t really describe it) on her clothes, the cars, the soft walls of the kitchen is so delicate and poetic.

    • sheila says:

      Clary – you’re so right, the yellows were so soothing – normally yellow isn’t soothing, right? but here it was. peace and quiet for this girl, finally.

      Those scenes where she runs – I was just a mess! She got to be a kid.

      A whole life changes in this quiet rural world and their quiet unassuming kindness to her. I just loved it.

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