It’s by addressing grief in its purest form that we empathise with the pain that can make us willing to open up again, pave over the cracks, and wound a broken heart.
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This is a work of unfailing restraint, which makes its stealth emotional heft all the more remarkable.
The action is unsettling throughout. There is a pervasive sense of unspoken menace lurking just outside the frame (or somewhere in the near past or future). But it is also a celebration of uncomplicated human kindness.
The Quiet Girl is thoughtful, spiritual in its stillness but alive with the hum of the land and the emotions it guards. Editing by the experienced John Murphy finishes the work with a precision that also smoothes this rites of passage story. Certainly, this is a quiet film, but it speaks in high volumes.
On occasion the deep investment in the long silences and sorrowful gazes that mostly make up Cáit’s life can teeter close to preciousness. When it does, though, there’s always Clinch’s superbly modulated performance, and the way the compassionate camera lavishes on Cáit all the attention that quiet, nice kids like her rarely receive, to bring us back onside.
It’s a simple but artfully effective debut feature from Irish filmmaker Colm Bairéad, with a remarkable, heartbreaking debut performance from Clinch, whose face betrays anxieties she doesn’t yet fully understand.
This beautiful and compassionate film from first-time feature director Colm Bairéad, based on the novella Foster by Claire Keegan, is a child’s-eye look at our fallen world; already it feels to me like a classic.
It’s one of the most exquisitely realised films of the year.