The Quiet Girl

Date Shown

20th Sep 2023


The Quiet Girl poster 

‘The Irish are coming!’ Now I grant you, not necessarily the first sentence you would expect in a film column, but bear with me and I shall explain. Increasingly, many of the more interesting or thoughtful British films released recently have been Irish or had Irish actors in leading roles. With box-office hot property Jamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy well-known internationally, and rising stars Paul Mescal and Jessie Buckley soon to join them, things are looking up for the Irish.

Paul Mescal broke through in the well received Sally Rooney-penned BBC series ‘Normal People’ (2020), made by Lenny Abrahamson, himself an accomplished director and screenwriter. Do check out his earlier films, particularly ‘Garage’ (2007), ‘What Richard Did’ (2012) and ‘Frank’ (2014) all excellent. Paul Mescal has grown his reputation with ‘Aftersun’ (2022) and ‘God’s Creatures’ (2022) set in a remote Irish fishing village. To illustrate his international breakout he is currently filming ‘Gladiator 2’, set for release in 2024

Talented and versatile Jessie Buckley made her film debut in ‘Beast’ (2017) to much acclaim, closely followed by ‘Wild Rose’ (2017) where she plays an aspiring country singer. She followed this by performing music from the film at Glastonbury. In 2019 she starred in the truly frightening HBO tv series ‘Chernobyl’, about the power station catastrophe in 1986 and the state cover-up that followed. To illustrate her versatility, Jessie Buckley later played Sally Bowles in the West End revival of ‘Cabaret’ in 2021, playing opposite Eddie Redmayne in the Joel Grey role.

Recent worthy Irish films include ‘Belfast’ (2021), Kenneth Branagh’s largely auto-biographical following of a young boy’s childhood in Northern Ireland’s Belfast at the beginning of The Troubles in 1969, ‘Roise and Frank’ (2022) a gentle comedy with bite, where a widow becomes convinced that a stray dog which adopts her is the reincarnation of her recently deceased husband, ‘The Wonder’ (2022) from the Emma Donoghue novel, is a period drama where an English nurse is sent to a rural Irish community to study a young girl who is seemingly able to survive without eating, and ‘The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) directed, written and produced by Martin McDonagh. Set on a remote fictional island off the west coast, it stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two life-long friends whose relationship somehow abruptly ends with alarming consequences for both of them. If you haven’t already do try to see any or all of these films as worthwhile recent Irish cinema, they have each rightly been critically praised.

This brings me to ‘The Quiet Girl’ (2022) which has been chosen as the opening offering for Cinematheque’s 2023/24 season of films. From first-time director Colm Bairead, this beautifully understated debut follows a young girl coming to terms with loss and the importance of family in rural Ireland. I cannot overstate how wonderful I found this film. Don’t miss it. It has rightly become a sleeper hit, breaking box-office records. ‘It is a Jewel…deeply moving tale…and already feels like a classic.’ Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

Audience Reactions

A: 31, B: 09, C: 03, D: 01, E: 0


A: Beloved Quiet Girl! Quietly, slowly enveloping us all in love, compassion and family life in good old Ireland (A )   Beautiful build up of characters and tension. (A)   Heartbreaking and unforgettable (A)  Wonderful! (A)  Great film (A)   Quite beautiful – every child needs love (A)  Everything about the film was perfect (A)  Such an emotional, empathetic portrayal of childhood and powerlessness (A)    Stunning! (A)   Powerful ending – great acting. A faithful rendition of a brilliant book. (A)   Hope at the end. A foreign country…(A)   Superb! (A)   Like a William Trevor short story (A)   Heartbreaking! (A)  Captivating! (but sound v. poor!) (A)  Heart rending, fantastic photography & acting (A)   What a beautiful film. (A)     Spellbindingly good. (A)    Very moving. Brilliant cinematography. Good mix of pace and tension. Wonderful acting. Beautiful music (A)  Gentle, emotive, haunting. (A) Utterly beautiful. (A) Sound balance weird, perhaps I should have a hearing test. (A)   Beautifully filmed. Excellent light, sound, acting. Simple but moving story. Says a lot about giving and caring. (A)

B:  Moving and beautiful; hope her aunt and uncle took her home. (B)   If it had come on TV at home I’d probably have given up in first 10 mins because slow, but it was really good and very much worth persevering. Girls’ clothing casting so affecting. (pity about sound sometimes) (B)       Wonderful – A great start to the season. Very strong cast (B) Worth it for the ending alone (technical note, bass was overdriven)(B)   Simple, ordinary & beautiful (B)  Lovely film (B)   A beautiful film. Very uplifting  – always the opportunity for change & redemption. (B)

C: Enjoyed it! A bit slow. (C)  Got me in the end. English needed subtitles as well!(C)

D: Too slow but beautifully told. I watch too many American films (D)

IMDB details

The Quiet Girl | May 13, 2022 (Ireland) 7.7


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Eibhlín Cinnsealach
Seán Cinnsealach
The Woman
Mac Gearailt
Ó Cathasaigh
Ó Floinn
Woman of the Shop
Cáit's Half-Twin

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Countries: IrelandLanguages: Irish Gaelic, English

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