We're still thinking about the Oscars!


The Post and The Quiet Girl: Three days later, we're still thinking about the Oscars. 

We thought Jimmy Kimmel did an excellent job, except for the interaction with Malala. As for that, we're a bit sorry that Malala was there at all.

We've been thinking about the somewhat unusual Best Picture winners of recent years. We've been thinking about the very few Best Picture winners of the past from which we can draw real learning, or even "a wholesome effect."

We're still thinking about Aftersun, which didn't make the cut for Best Picture. In a similar vein, we're looking forward to seeing The Quiet Girl, a best foreign film nominee. 

(The Oscar went to a somewhat noisier film—All Quiet on the Western Front.)

In his recent review for the Washington Post, Michael O'Sullivan compared this quieter, smaller film with the "noisy, overstuffed movies" nominated for Best Picture:

O'SULLIVAN (3/7/23): In a world of noise—and noisy, overstuffed movies, nowhere better epitomized than in this year’s crop of Oscar nominees—the Academy Award-nominated “The Quiet Girl” stands out. Pitted against such other soft-spoken gems as “Close” and “Eo” in the relatively hushed and meditative corner-category of best foreign language film, this lovely Irish drama, featuring a bit of English but mostly told in the lilting Irish tongue, won’t overwhelm you with subtitles, for no other reason than its most powerful moments are unspoken.


Directed by Colm Bairead, and based on the short story “Foster” by Claire Keegan, this is a tale in which, by the standards of Hollywood, at least, not terribly much happens. Yet in her short sojourn with the Cinnsealachs, Cait discovers a way of life—a way of loving and of being loved unconditionally—that is utterly foreign to her. And in this quiet girl, her foster parents find something, too: a kind of healing.

For viewers, the film also might have a wholesome effect; it’s a tonic to the chaos and jumble of “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and their ilk.

The film "might have a wholesome effect," O'Sullivan speculates. In comments to the Post review, one reader described her own recent experience watching the film.

In our view, the commenter's last sentence is very important:

COMMENTER: Tonight I saw The Quiet Girl at a theatre in Albany, New York. The screening was promoted by the local Irish American Heritage Museum and most in the audience were there because of the notice sent by this fine organization. When the movie was over no one moved from their seats in order to collect their emotions. Only then did we collect our coats. Unlike Caitlin, we then broke the silence and began to talk. We offered our own endings to the ambiguous conclusion. 

I had waited many months to be able to see An Cailín Ciúin, as it wasn't streamed after its European release last year. Now I can finally discuss the film with my family in Ireland who wouldn't until I had seen it. The cousins speak Gaeilge. Sadly, I do not speak this beautiful language, so our conversation will be in English. My great loss is consoled by frequent trips "home" to a family and farm in Clare along the sea. 

For those of us lucky to be Irish or to travel in Ireland, our stored images and memories course through The Quiet Girl. Running plays a big part in this movie. Run to see this movie before it leaves your local theatre. It could have been set in any part of the world.

The commenter says we should "run to see this movie before it leaves [our] local theatre."  

This weekend, we're planning to take that advice—but that last sentence in her comment is wise, insightful, important.


  1. “we're a bit sorry that Malala was there at all.”

    But by gum, Somerby was watching. Should we be disappointed that he, the One True Liberal, watched the Academy Awards, that orgy of liberal elitism, instead of compiling naep data?

    (She was there because she had a film nominated).

    Also, Malala was wearing Ralph Lauren. And she looked gorgeous.

    Oh no, human rights and woman’s rights activists and True Liberals must never attend Hollywood galas and wear expensive clothing and, you know, enjoy themselves.

    They should follow Somerby’s example of his extremely low profile activism, which consists of yelling at Morning Joe and defending Donald Trump from criticism.

    1. Somerby seems to feel that Malala must remain an idealized martyred 12 year old girl, so that Somerby's fantasies won't be disrupted.

      Somerby really should rethink his ideas about purity and innocence. These are the notions that harm women in honor cultures. When the honor of idealized femininity is sullied, the male relatives must avenge the stain on the whole family, by killing the woman who has become damaged goods. Somerby's sense that Malala is tainted by Hollywood is akin to that dynamic. In Catholicism, it is the Madonna/whore duality. He shouldn't indulge it because of the wrongs done against women worldwide.

    2. Not surprising that Somerby would luv luv luv a film about a preteen girl.

  2. Movies about the trenches in WWI
    probably have a tendency to get
    a little loud.
    On occasion, a small independent
    film will win best picture. This generally
    gets put down to liberal Hollywood

  3. It isn't really fair to call Avatar a chaos and jumble. It had a very straightforward plot line and wasn't a jumble at all. It did have special effects, but how else do you create an alien planet with non-human characters? O'Sullivan is merely playing on the title The Quiet Girl.

  4. Aftersun was a box office failure.

  5. You can't spell POLYESTER without YES.

  6. The guy who regularly complains about the front page content of the on line WSJ sure seems bogged down with the Oscars.

  7. Replies
    1. Over the years Bob might write about a movie if he thought it was special. He made a bit of a fool of himself over Mel Gibson’s Jesus film.
      He’s quite the movie fan now and loves sports too. Let’s face it, making excuses for the Right must get tiresome and he can’t do it every day.