Posts Tagged ‘IRISH CINEMA’

The Quiet Girl (2021)

Wri/Dir: Colm Bairead | Cast: Catherine Clinch, Carrie Crowley, Andrew Bennett, Michael Patric, | Ireland, 94′

This delightful coming of age drama set in rural Ireland in the early 1980s is the Gaelic-language screen adaptation of Claire Keegan’s short story Foster and won a major Jury award at this year’s Generation sidebar at Berlin Film Festival.

Anyone who grew up in the era will really appreciate the exquisite attention to detail, and nuanced performances that delicately convey the mood without ever overdoing the emotion. And there are considerable emotions and harsh realities at play here: a dysfunctional family ground down by poverty; a little girl starved of love and attention; a grieving couple suffering in silence. The tranquil beauty of the Irish countryside seems to wrap them all in the soft blanket of summer but the hardships are undeniable and deeply affecting. This is a memorable modern classic that transcends the minor flaws in Colm Bairead’s feature debut.

Although she says nothing eight-year old Cait (Clinch) absorbs all the tensions at home where she is largely ignored by her older sisters, gambling father and pregnant mother and left to go hungry and unwashed to school where she struggles with lessons. An unexpected day out with her father culminates in a visit to a farm where she horrified to be left with Eiblin (Crowley) and Sean (Bennett) Kinsella, the middle aged couple who live there. Cait gradually blossoms in Eibhlin’s tender care and her being there seems to have a beneficial all round as she learns the ways of the farm with Sean who buys her new frocks and choc ices, Eileen showing her how to make jam and keep house during those happy summer holidays. She learns that not all men are bad, and some mothers are kind loving, although most women are gossips. But soon she must go back to school.

Slim of narrative but rich and resonant in the small details and in glorious settings captured in Academy Ratio by Kate McKulloch (Arracht), Bairead’s drama builds to an impactful climax and a deeply affecting ending. MT




Rosie (2018) ***

Dir.: Paddy Breathnach; Cast: Sarah Greene, Moe Dunford, Ellie O’Halloran, Ruby Dunne, Darragh McKenzie, Molly McCann, Pom Boyd; ROE 2018, 86 min.

There’s clearly a housing crisis in Ireland. Paddy Breathnach (Viva) and writer Roddy Doyle (The Van) low-key affair drama sees a family of six literally living out of their car, after their rented home was sold by their landlord. All Dublin council can do is provide a list of emergency shelters, which are usually booked out.

Rosie (Greene), the titular heroine and her partner John Paul Brady (Dunford) have put their belonging with friends and relatives, stuffing their car with the bare necessities along with four children. The resulting tale unfolds over sixteen hours, but seems much longer: Rosie trying to organise the kids, whilst John Paul washes dishes in a posh restaurant. Spending a fortune on the mobile, phoning the hotels and hostels on her list, Rosie becomes a picture of insouciance, even though every ‘No vacancy’ brings them nearer to a night spent in a parking lot.

The children take the ordeal very differently: four-year old Madison (McCann) is only concerned with Peachie, the rabbit – as long as she can cuddle up to him, the world is fine. Alfie (McKenzie) is six and sees everything as an adventure, he is often uncomfortable, but one can imagine him putting up the same resistance to compliance in a household under a roof. The two eldest, eight-year old Millie (Dunne) and her sister Kayleigh (O’Halloran) suffer the most, while Kayleigh leaves school and stays with her old neighbours, the panicky parents spending most of the day trying to track her down, and nearly losing the father’s job. Rosie’s mother (Boyd) owns a house large enough to house her daughter’s family but there are issues between them: Rosie claims to have been sexually molested by her now deceased father, and her mother wants her to recant before letting the family into the house. Rosie puts pride before comfort, and with another day over the chances of finding accommodation drastically diminish.

With a story like Rosie, it’s difficult to imagine how Dublin gets to be called the ‘Boom Town’ of Europe. Housing stock is either rare, or the price range outside the budget of normal families. Breathnach shows the struggle of a ordinary folk, caused by no-one in particular, but causing mass despair– without much hope for the future. DoP Cathal Watters underlines the narrative with a handheld camera, catching the family’s perpetual motion. Low on storyline and budget, echoing its theme, Rosie is still a watchable drama. AS





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