Release Date: August 25th, 2006 by Sony Pictures Classics.
The Cast: Elisha Cuthbert, Camilla Belle, Edie Falco, Martin Donovan, Shawn Ashmore, Katy Mixon, David Gallagher.
Directed by Jamie Babbit.
BASIC PREMISE: Dot (Belle), a deaf teenager, discovers a dark secret when she moves in with her godparents (Falco and Donovan) and their teenage daughter, Nina (Cuthbert).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Quiet boasts a stand-out performance by Camilla Belle, whose luminous beauty resonates in every single one of her scenes. The film initially feels like a Mean Girls meets American Beauty. Dot unsuccessfully tries to fit into the social life at her new school. Of course, she encounters mean girls there, including Nina, who won’t let her sit with them at the cafeteria. Back at Nina’s home, Dot observes plenty of dysfunction—i.e. an awkward dinner scene. Nina’s drug-addicted mother often passes out while her father acts so nice, he comes off as a bit creepy from the start. The only believable character is Dot. She remains silent still says so much just through her facial expressions. Everyone else around her seems rather one-dimensional, predictable and somewhat boring. Unfortunately, co-writers Abdi Nazemian and Micah Schraft do a mediocre job of generating any dramatic tension with their unsubtle screenplay. They reveal the perverse, dark secret way too early in the narrative and then repeat it over and over as if the viewer hasn’t realized it already. This makes many scenes seem rather dull. A second plot twist can also be predicted quite easily. It’s worth mentioning that the production values are quite superb. Although shot on high definition, The Quiet looks great thanks to exquisite cinematography and the well-fitting musical score which helps gives the movie its own unique rhythm and style. Ultimately, what truly keeps you riveted is Camilla Belle’s amazing performance that proves, just like in The Ballad of Jack and Rose, that she’s a young star who deserves to continue rise—and to shine.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Not enough suspense and mostly poor character development.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 2
IN A NUTSHELL: Camilla Belle delivers a brilliant performance. Some beautiful cinematography and music doesn’t compensate for the lack of suspense and subtlety.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: VHS/DVD
The "Q" Menu