Quiet Girl, The (An Cailín Ciúin)

image for Quiet Girl, The (An Cailín Ciúin)

Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 15 (coarse language, themes). May also lack interest under 16 due to subtitles.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Quiet Girl, The (An Cailín Ciúin)
  • a review of Quiet Girl, The (An Cailín Ciúin) completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 12 September 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to coarse language and themes.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to coarse language and themes. May also lack interest due to subtitles.
Children over the age of 15 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Quiet Girl, The (An Cailín Ciúin)
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language
Length: 95 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Nine year old Cáit (Catherine Clinch) is unloved, neglected and misunderstood by her family. Her father drinks and gambles, while her exhausted mother struggles to feed the family and her sisters ignore or insult her. Cáit is sent to live with distant relatives for the summer, while her mother prepares for the birth of yet another baby. It is while living on the farm with Eibhlín (Carrie Crowley) and Seán (Andrew Bennett) that Cáit learns what it is like to be loved and cared for. Cáit immediately steals Eibhlín’s heart and the woman lavishes her affection on the young girl, while Seán takes longer to get used to having her around. Meanwhile, Cáit is left to wonder why there are airplanes and cars on the wallpaper in the room where she sleeps and a wardrobe full of little boy clothes in a house that has no children. Eibhlín and Seán thought they knew exactly what they were doing by taking in Cáit but even they were unaware of the transformative power this quiet girl would have upon their lives and upon their hearts.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Poverty; Child neglect; Separation from family; Death; Grief and being misunderstood and unappreciated by those meant to love you.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • A child says that: “My mother gave your mother a punch in the nose”.
  • Cáit is told about how Seán and Eibhlín's son drowned after following his dog and how Seán was going to shoot the dog but couldn’t bear to go through with it.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Cáit is sent to live with distant relatives whom she doesn’t know. Though it is not scary, it is painful to watch the careless manner in which her father leaves her and it may upset some children.
  • Cáit is told by a vindictive woman that she has been wearing a dead child’s clothes for the past couple of months and sleeping in his bed. She explains how the boy drowned and Cáit is horrified by what she hears. Again the scene is not overly scary but it may be disturbing to some children.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • One of Cáit’s sisters asks how a calf gets into a cow.
  • Cáit’s father picks up a woman walking on the side of the road. They appear to be more than friends and Cáit watches the woman suspiciously. There is subtle innuendo that they may be having an affair.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Cáit has a bath while Eibhlín helps scrubs her. Her bare legs and arms are shown. At the end of the film she takes another bath but scrubs herself.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Cáit's father drinks in a pub.
  • Cáit’s father repeatedly smokes cigarettes, often in enclosed spaces (such as the car) and around his children.
  • Cáit’s father puts his cigarette butt on his dinner plate, much to the horror of Eibhlín.
  • Seán offers Cáit a drink at a wake.
  • Cáit’s father mentions that he had a liquid supper, referring to alcohol.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Fuck’s sake
  • Piss
  • Weirdo
  • Fuck and fucking
  • Bastards
  • Ass
  • Dope
  • Oh Christ.

In a nutshell

The Quiet Girl (An Cailín Ciúin) is an Irish-language film with English subtitles, based on the Claire Keegan’s novella, Foster. The film is simply and exquisitely done. Due to the language and subtitles, this is not a film aimed at children but one that will be appreciated by older, mature audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that love and kindness are never wasted and together they make all the difference.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Helpfulness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Wandering off on a farm and the dangers of going too near a well.
  • Gambling or drinking too much.
  • The effects of poverty and neglect.
  • A misunderstood child being sent away from their family.