An Cailín Ciúin named film of the year by Dublin Film Critics’ Circle

Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, guaranteed Oscar attention, was also honoured

Colm Bairéad’s An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl) has been named as the best film of the year by the Dublin Film Critics ‘Circle (DFCC). This is the first time in the Cricle’s 16-year history that a domestic release has taken the title.

“In what has been a wonderful year for both Irish and international cinema, we feel truly honoured that An Cailín Ciúin has been chosen by the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle as the Best Film of 2022,” Bairéad told The Irish Times. “We’re especially delighted to learn that it’s the first Irish film ever to receive this distinction. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.”

There was further recognition of the rise in Irish-language cinema with another film in the native tongue, Rachael Moriarty and Peter Murphy’s Róise & Frank, coming second in the vote for best Irish film. An Cailín Ciúin has been on extraordinary roll since its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February. It went on to beat Kenneth Branagh’s much-fancied Belfast to best film at the Irish Film and Television Awards. The picture has since made more than €1 million at the combined UK and Irish box office. Next week, the filmmakers will learn if they have made it on to the shortlist for best international film at the Academy Awards.

Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin, guaranteed Oscar attention, was also honoured by the DFCC. McDonagh won best screenplay and Colin Farrell took best actor. A huge hit in Ireland, the black comedy was also mentioned in the best director, best cinematography and – for Kerry Condon – best actress lists. Condon came third in that race behind Penélope Cruz for Parallel Mothers and Michelle Yeoh, winner for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. That last film, a zany science-fiction comedy, has been building support since its release back in March. The Dublin critics had it as runner up in screenplay and director.


The other big breakthrough for an independent release – largely unheralded at the start of the year – was surely that of Charlotte Wells’s Aftersun. The Scottish director’s debut film, starring Paul Mescal as a troubled father holidaying with his daughter in Turkey during the late 1990s, registered after receiving rave reviews in the Critics Week section at the Cannes Festival. It recently cleaned up at the British Independent Film Awards. The DFCC honoured Wells with their best director prize and positioned Aftersun second in best film. It also placed in the best screenplay and, for Mescal, best actor lists. That film’s awards journey is only beginning.

Other films securing mentions included the David Bowie montage Moonage Daydream, which won best documentary, and smash hit Top Gun: Maverick, which secured the best cinematography prize. Amber Midthunder, the Native American star of stirring action flick Prey, took the prize for best international breakthrough. Alisha Weir, electric juvenile lead of Matilda: The Musical, won best Irish breakthrough.

The standout result remains, however, that win for An Cailín Ciúin. Irish-language film has profited from investment via the innovative Cine4 initiative, launched by TG4, Screen Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The success of films such as An Cailín Ciúin and Róise & Frank confirms the existence of a hitherto untapped market. “What’s surprising people is the quality of the filmmaking that’s coming through,” Bairéad told The Irish Times earlier in the year.

First convened in 2006, the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle, whose president is this newspaper’s Tara Brady, invites professional critics from across the city to vote on the year’s best. The body has also presented regular awards at the Dublin International Film Festival. Previous winners in the annual poll have included such a diversity of features as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I, Daniel Blake and A Star is Born.

Best film

  1. An Cailín Ciúin/The Quiet Girl
  2. Aftersun
  3. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  4. The Banshees of Inisherin
  5. Living
  6. Elvis
  7. RRR
  8. Happening
  9. Vortex
  10. Parallel Mothers

Best director

  1. Charlotte Wells (Aftersun)
  2. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All At Once)
  3. Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  4. Colm Bairéad (An Cailín Ciúin/The Quiet Girl)
  5. Robert Eggers (The Northman)
  6. Oliver Hermanus (Living)
  7. SS Rajamouli (RRR)
  8. Park Chan-Wook (Decision to Leave)
  9. Gaspar Noé (Vortex)
  10. Luca Guadagnino (Bones and All)

Best documentary

  1. Moonage Daydream
  2. Nothing Compares
  3. Lyra
  4. Kurt Vonnegut
  5. Futura
  6. Cow
  7. Fire of Love
  8. Million Dollar Pigeons
  9. The Territory
  10. North Circular

Best actor

  1. Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  2. Bill Nighy (Living)
  3. Austin Butler (Elvis)
  4. Paul Mescal (Aftersun)
  5. Udo Kier (Swan Song)

Best actress

  1. Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
  2. Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)
  3. Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  4. Tang Wei (Decision to Leave)
  5. Anamaria Vartolomei (Happening)

Best screenplay

  1. Martin McDonagh (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  2. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
  3. Charlotte Wells (Aftersun)
  4. Park Chan-Wook (Decision to Leave)
  5. Jordan Peele (Nope)
  6. Mariano Cohn, Andrés Duprat, Gastón Duprat (Official Competition)
  7. Gaspar Noé (Vortex)
  8. Terence Davies (Benediction)
  9. Rian Johnson (Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery)
  10. Ian Stokell, Lesley Paterson, Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front)


  1. Claudio Miranda (Top Gun: Maverick)
  2. Ben Davis (The Banshees of Inisherin)
  3. Hoyte van Hoytema (Nope)
  4. Larkin Seiple (Everything Everywhere All at Once)
  5. Kate McCullough (An Cailín Ciúin/The Quiet Girl)
  6. KK Senthil Kumar (RRR)
  7. Jarin Blaschke (The Northman)
  8. Benoît Debie (Vortex)
  9. Living (Jamie D Ramsay)
  10. Mitja Licen (Small Body)

Best Irish film

  1. Quiet Girl
  2. Roise and Frank
  3. Nothing Compares
  4. The Dance
  5. It Is In Us All

International breakthrough

Amber Midthunder, Prey

Irish breakthrough

Alisha Weir, Matilda

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist