The Quiet

This incredibly tiny film by director Jamie Babbit has the production values and plot of a movie of the week or ABC Afterschool Special, but if you can get past that, it’s a pretty compelling story. Camilla Belle plays a teenager who’s pretending to be deaf. The death of her father forces her to live with a cheerleader (Elisha Cuthbert), the cheerleader’s drug-addicted mother (Edie Falco) and her sexually abusive father (Martin Donovan). While Donovan and Falco give TV-melodrama-style performances, Cuthbert is surprisingly good, and the plot grows with a force that sucks you in. Probably no more than a trifle, The Quiet is at least a decent distraction while we wait for the glut of Oscar wannabes that will flood the fall with art and bathos.

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