Innocent Irish country lass Kate Brady (Rita Tushingham) leaves her father’s Co Clare farm to work as a grocery clerk in Dublin and falls in love with a cold, callous older man – writer Eugene Gaillard (Peter Finch), who ignores her wisecracking, brash, more sophisticated roommate, Baba (Lynn Redgrave).
Kate baffles Eugene with her alternate fits of surrender and withdrawal and then, when her great love seems most glorious, finds herself a jealous possessive woman, uncomfortable in her lover’s milieu and demanding more than she knows she has the right to expect.
The decline in the relationship between the two shopgirl friends is conveyed with great skill and debutant director Desmond Davis wisely allows the cast to go about their business. He also captures the atmosphere of Dublin with the eye of an experienced cinematographer.
Stellar acting makes this adroit, lyrical adaptation of the best-selling Edna O’Brien novel, The Lonely Girl, a treasure.
T P McKenna