21 April 2023.
THE QUIET GIRL ***1/2 (vo Gaelic)
Why is it that some children have to suffer for the problems and hangups of their incompetent, often cruel parents? There have been many films dealing with the abuse of children within the family. This one, an Irish film done mainly in Gaelic, shows how the lack of love and emotional care can deprive a child of its confidence and understanding of the world.
It is a sad tale, slow and gentle, that grows on you as she is sent off to a decent, farming couple for the summer. They are actually cousins of her uncaring, serial-parents, a middle-aged couple with no children, moral and kind, who take good care of her, which is something she has never known.
Like the nine-year-old Cait, this is a quiet film by Colm Bairead which will move you as it moves the girl to a realisation of better possibilities in the cold life she has had until now. There is growing love astir in this tender film.
Here is another look at an abusive family having dire consequences upon their children. Why do such inadequate parents have so many offspring?! I have always thought we should require licenses for having children, as we do for driving. But that is a sensitive subject, and I should not digress…
The film starts off with a man writing a letter from prison, trying to explain his crime. The letter is to his sister, and we get flashbacks of the times with his parents and his many siblings who are being raised in the wild, hidden from civilisation, since the father is a fanatic believer in the evils of modern-day society.
This topic of living ‘off grid’ has been covered by many films on the subject, such as “Captain Fantastic” with Viggo Mortensen, or “Leave No Trace” about a father/daughter duo living in the wild. They usually end with the children rebelling against their extremist parents, as their ‘utopia’ turns into a forced state. This one shows what tragic turns these drastic lifestyles can take. Quite an accomplishment for a first feature film by Swiss director, Steven Michael Hayes.
LA VIE POUR DE VRAI *1/2 (vo French)
Oh dear, here’s an inept, silly ‘romantic’ comedy about a threesome, with popular stars such as Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dany Boon and Kad Merad to draw in the crowds.
Don’t be drawn in, it’s a waste of time.
SEULE – LET HER KILL YOU * (vo English and French)
And speaking of silly – let’s add useless to that – here’s a supposed dark thriller which turns dull and foolish as it meanders on about an ex-spy, alone in a chalet, while she’s waiting to be killed or rescued.
And this is St. Moritz? Forget it, with its terrible scenario – you won’t even care as it progresses…
99 MOONS (vo Swiss German)
A Swiss film trying hard to be wildly sensual and inventive about two completely different people coming together sexually, and maybe emotionally.
It’s mainly mild pornography wanting to be trendy and titillating. Do we really need to be witness to all this bare skin and writhing?
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.