This is one of those films that you find yourself thinking about for a long time after you've screened it.
Some of the plot points in this film didn't make sense.
The Quiet plays for the most part how it looks in it's promotional pictures. A disconnected family that looks perfect on the outside has their world upended when Dot (Camilla Belle), a deaf and mute girl, comes to live with them. Nina Deer (the ravishing Elisha Cuthbert) is a star cheerleader who is rude to everybody, hangs out with some very mean girls, and just happens to be having an affair with her father. Olivia Deer (Edie Falco), Nina's Mother, is always medicating herself and as a result she's oblivious to everything happening around her. Rounding out this family is Paul Deer (Martin Donovan) who is quite content with keeping things the way they are.
Then Dot comes in and things start to slowly unravel. Without giving too much away, people seem to tell her things or show her certain parts of themselves simply because they do not see Dot as a threat. After all, who is she going to tell? This plot thickens very quickly when Connor (Shawn Ashmore) starts having a relationship with this girl and suddenly even Nina's friends start to get caught up in her world.
The Quiet is one of those movies that manages to stay interesting, even though the film's eventual payoff seems somewhat unlikely.
Fetal Pig, Fetal Pig, Let Me In
I rarely feel this way about a featurette but this thing was just weird. There is no other way I can put it, but I don't think they needed to make a featurette about the dissection of pigs in this movie. The dissections are broken down, we hear from the prop master about how these things were obtained, and I honestly could have done without ever seeing this thing. If you have an interest in knowing more about this scene you should watch this, if you don't than you'll miss nothing by passing it over.
Locations: Shooting In Austin
Director Jamie Babbit talks about why the film was shot in Austin, Texas, how the people there are less jaded, and we are also treated to seeing some of the locations during preproduction. I am also willing to bet that not shooting this movie in California probably made the budget go a lot further. This segment was interesting but I don't think it really informed the actual movie much.
For a film that was shot digitally, this movie looked really good. Jamie Babbit talks about how polished HD looks so it really gave The Quiet a composed look. We also hear from people like Director of Photography David Mullen, who was chosen partially because of his ability to capture images at night. Watching this segment was very enlightening because if I hadn't watched it, I don't think I would have ever known it was captured in this medium.
In this segment we have the cast and Jamie Babbit talking about The Quiet's story and themes. It examines the dysfunction of the family, how the girls are both separated from their fathers and how the story originally began with the character of Dot. Everything here was pretty interesting because this is the kind of movie one always has questions about. However, if you are looking for definitive answers these featurettes really don't give you that.
2.35:1 - Anamorphic Widescreen. Shot on HD there was nothing about the way this movie looked on DVD that gave that away. In fact, it is amazing how much digital cinema has evolved because this movie looked like film. I have seen movies on DV in the theater that were fine, and then seeing them on DVD at home they look like they were lensed on an expensive camcorder. The Quiet has a very structured look that compliments this film's overall tone.
Dolby Digital. English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital. French Dolby Surround. Subtitled in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Mastered in High Definition. Close Captioned. This film sounded good but I didn't hear anything that really jumped out at me. I was able to hear everything fine, but, like it's title, this film is very structured and all the characters (save for a few) speak with a highly inflected, almost poetic, cadence.
This front cover image of Elisha Cuthbert and Camilla Belle is actually taken from the end of the movie. It is also similar to the one sheet image that was predominantly used to publicized this film when it was released theatrically. The back cover contains some shots from the film, none of which really tell a viewer anything about the story. There is a description of what this movie is about, a Special Features listing, a cast list, and system specs for your player.
I found this to be an interesting film. As I am a huge fan of Elisha Cuthbert, I thought that The Quiet was a nice departure from the things we usually see her in. I was even considering going to see this film when it played in the theater, but either it didn't open in Orange County or it wasn't in theaters long enough for me to catch it. Then I happened to read someone's review of it (well, at least the end of it), and I couldn't believe how bad they made it sound.
As I almost never read reviews but I certainly didn't not see The Quiet sooner because of that. When I was offered this movie to review, I snapped it up and I was glad I did. The Quiet isn't for everyone to be sure, but it is one of those movies that isn't merely provocative just to be provocative.
The Quiet was released September 12, 2005.