The year is 1981, and 9-year-old Cait (Catherine Clinch) is a silent type trying to stay out of her parent’s way. She already has a handful of siblings, with another on the way, and Mom and Dad are about as physically, emotionally, and financially taxed as you can get. So, they drive Cait over to some relatives, an older couple without kids, and drop her off for the summer. They are Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and Seán (Andrew Bennett), and they live by themselves on a rural dairy farm that looks like a dream. Even the cozy home, with its soft-yellow walls in the kitchen and flowery wallpaper in the bedroom, practically envelops Cait with warm arms. And that’s a good thing, because Cait has a lot of emotional baggage to sort through.

Ditto for Eibhlán and Seán; there’s a hole in their life that Cait slides into effortlessly. A makeshift family forms, full of love, compassion and, in the movie’s best scenes, life.

Aptly titled, The Quiet Girl is a pleasant respite from the chaos of modern society. When people long for simpler times, Bairéad’s filmmight be what they think of. Not that the movie is free of drama, but how director Bairéad and cinematographer Kate McCullough capture these tender moments makes even instances of anguish seem comforting.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Quiet Girl / An Cailín Ciúin (2022)
Written and directed by Colm Bairéad
Adapted from the story “Foster” by Claire Keegan
Produced by Cleona Ní Chrualaoí
Starring: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Michael Patric, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh
Neon, Rated PG-13, Running time 94 minutes, Premiered Feb. 11, 2022 at the Berlin Film Festival.

The above blurb first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 30, No. 27, “Perfect timing.”