WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2023
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.