Film review – The Quiet Girl (2022)

The Quiet Girl

Describing The Quiet Girl as minimalist potentially runs the risk of implying that its lack of superfluous narrative information or stylistic flourishes might result in it feeling distant, cold or sparse. This could not be further from the truth. The great restraint that Irish filmmaker Colm Bairéad displays in his tender adaptation of Claire Keegan’s 2010 novella Foster instead has resulted in a film that is both engaging and deeply affecting. With the camera rarely straying from the film’s protagonist, nine-year-old Cáit (newcomer Catherine Clinch), Bairéad provides just enough details, without obvious exposition, to convey how her world transforms after her neglectful parents send her to stay with distant relatives who show her kindness for the first time. The Quiet Girl may even be comparable to the films of the great Japanese auteur Yasujirō Ozu for how seamlessly it indirectly critiques social structures such as class, delivers powerful insights into the human condition, and emotionally catches the viewer completely off guard.

Read and listen to the rest of this review at ABC Melbourne