- Golden Globe Awards
The Quiet Girl (Ireland)
The Quiet Girl is Colm Bairéad’s feature debut and is an Irish-language adaptation of Claire Keegan’s 2010 novella “Foster.” The film is set in 1981 and portrays a neglected 9-year-old girl from an abusive household, Cáit (Catherine Clinch), who is sent to stay with distant family in a rural part of southern Ireland.
Cáit’s mother (Kate Nic Chonaonaigh) is heavily pregnant with yet another child to add to her brood, and her father (Michael Patric) is a drunk and abusive. They decide to send her away for the summer in order to get a break from taking care of her. She is sent to visit an older couple, Eibhlin (Carrie Crowley) and Seán (Andrew Bennett), without having been consulted about it beforehand.
Cáit has forced all of her emotions inside herself, and the film is about her process of opening up to her feelings. Her summer foster parents, who are childless themselves, make sure to spend time with her and give her a safe space in which to be, which helps facilitate her emotional growth. Their care is what changes her as a person, and she blossoms. It is a film about the love of a family, how people need it in order to grow, and how neglect and loss can paralyze the individual.
The film is set a portion of County Waterford in which the Irish language is mostly spoken, and was funded by Screen Ireland, TG4 and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland as part of the Cine4 scheme. The film won the top prize in Berlin Film Festival’s Generation Kplus section and eight awards at the Irish Film & Television Academy Awards (beating out Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast) and became the highest-grossing Irish-language film of all time.