THE QUIET (Jamie Babbit). 91 minutes. A Sony Classics/Mongrel Media release. For venues and times, see Movies, page 108. Rating: N Rating: N
The lethally slow pace of this "thriller" from the director of But I'm A Cheerleader suggests that the filmmakers arrived on set only to realize that the script had 45 minutes of material, so Jamie Babbit directed everyone to act really, really slowly.
After the death of her father, Dot (Camilla Belle, from When A Stranger Calls) arrives at the home of the Deers (Martin Donovan and Edie Falco), who have a teenage daughter (Elisha Cuthbert) and some dark, dark secrets, like Mom's fondness for prescription meds and a father-daughter relationship that's way too close. Dot is deaf, or so she says -- or doesn't say.
What's remarkable is that Babbit can get so many bad performances out of so many good actors. Belle held her own with Daniel Day-Lewis in The Ballad Of Jack And Rose, and Cuthbert had a real livewire spark in The Girl Next Door. Every actor seems to be heavily sedated and then sunk in a pool of viscous fluid that the director then bathed in blue light.
Remember The Glass House, with Leelee Sobieski as the new girl and Diane Lane as the pill-popping mom? The Quiet makes that look good.