The Quiet Girl
By Kat Halstead,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Beautiful Irish drama has language, death, smoking.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Love is powerful. Small gestures of kindness, empathy, and compassion can have a big impact. Secrets sometimes harbor shame.
Positive Role Models
Cáit is quiet and neglected, interacting little with the chaos around her. This is until her environment changes and she is encouraged by those around her to feel safe in coming out of her shell, showing herself to be thoughtful and helpful toward others. Eibhlín is tender and patient, showing kindness, empathy, and compassion. Seán is gruff and distant when he first meets Cáit, but gradually shows great warmth and support toward her, while also standing up for her. They are both good neighbors to those around them, helping out in others' times of need. Cáit's mother is busy, overworked at home, and distant toward her daughter. She shows little care or attention to her. Neither does her father, who has an affair, and drinks and gambles away the family money.
The film is set in Ireland with Irish dialogue used for the majority of the film. The main character is a young girl, and is seen to be quiet and neglected, yet maintains an inner strength. Characters are majority White and adhere quite strongly to traditional male and female stereotypes, such as the women cooking, cleaning, and looking after children, and the men doing more manual labor or, less positively, having affairs, gambling, and drinking.
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Violence & Scariness
Death of a child mentioned. Death of an adult and a dead body shown in a coffin at a wake. Passing mention of intention to shoot a dog.
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Infrequent language includes "f---ing," "f--k," "bastard," "ass," "idiot," "weirdo," and "dope."
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Products & Purchases
Choc ice brand mentioned. Characters go to shops to buy clothes and there is an advert for stationery on the radio.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol but are not seen drunk. Some smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Quiet Girl is a captivating coming-of-age drama set in 1980s Ireland with occasional strong language and smoking. Adapted from a novella by Claire Keegan, the story focuses on a 9-year-old girl -- Cáit (Catherine Clinch) -- who's sent away from her family to live with distant relatives. Much of the dialogue is in Irish (with English subtitles for U.S. release), and the movie received an Oscar nomination for Best International Feature Film. Infrequent strong language includes "f--k" and "bastard." There's drinking and smoking, as well as references to gambling and characters seen betting on a card game. A child's death is mentioned, and an adult's dead body is shown in a coffin at a wake. The film has a slow, quiet pace that unfolds gradually, exploring the impact of empathy, compassion, and love.
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The Quiet Girl
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What's the Story?
In THE QUIET GIRL, Cáit (Catherine Clinch) is sent away from her dysfunctional family to live with distant relatives for the summer. Used to shrinking into the background, she comes out of her shell in the new environment. But in a place of unfamiliar love, she also discovers a painful secret.
Is It Any Good?
This impactful debut from writer-director Colm Bairéad quickly became the top-grossing Irish-language film of all time in its home country. The Quiet Girl is also the first Irish-language production to be nominated for an Oscar for Best International Film. The film is a slow, stealthy affair that is often as subdued as its heroine, giving a child's-eye-view of the world from a place of detached curiosity, the camera noticing every detail that captures Cáit's attention. Her coming of age is a gradual understanding and experience of being loved, cared for, and seen. There are subtle moments of tenderness expressed in the smallest of gestures that will have the biggest of impacts on even the coldest of hearts. The movie is beautifully produced, with dreamlike shots and a wistful score which, along with the phenomenal performances -- particularly from newcomer Clinch -- make this an emotional tour de force to be reckoned with.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the theme of love in The Quiet Girl. Why is it important to experience love and care from those around you? In what different ways do characters show their love in the film?
The film is in Irish. Can you think of any other movies you've seen in that language? What impact did it have to watch a movie in its native tongue? Did it change the experience?
Eibhlín and Seán show empathy and compassion toward Cáit. Why are these important character strengths? What impact do you see them have on-screen?
Talk about the use of strong language in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
How was smoking depicted in the film? Do you think attitudes to smoking have changed since when the movie was set? Why, or why why not?
- In theaters: December 16, 2022
- Cast: Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Catherine Clinch
- Director: Colm Bairéad
- Studio: Super LTD
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Book Characters
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some strong language and smoking.
- Last updated: May 29, 2023
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