Sophie Jo Wasson stars in the film 32A currently showing in cinemas nationwide

September 7th, 2009

32A wins Best First Feature at Galway Film Fleadh.


Director: Marian Quinn

Starring: Ailish McCarthy, Sophie Jo Wasson, Orla Long, Riona Smith, Shane McDaid, Aidan Quinn, Orla Brady and Jared Harris.

Duration: 89 minutes

‘So what did you fall out over? A fella.’ You can swap the decades and change the genders but some dilemmas never go away, and the way people react to them never changes. With that in mind, breathe in the younger you and journey back to Dublin in 1979.

Maeve (McCarthy) is 13, trying to make sense of everything all at once - bodies, boys, friendships, family - and doing as good a job of it of as anyone else that age. Thankfully, she’s got pals Ruth (Wasson), Orla

(Long) and Claire (Smith) to figure out the biggest questions with and, even when things become deadly serious - like when local heartthrob Brian

(McDaid) walks by - they can usually find something to laugh at.

But when Maeve suddenly finds herself the object of Brian’s affection, things get even more confusing - and this time she can’t turn to the other three for help.

The film ‘Stand by Me’ ends with a line to treasure (”I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12″) and Marian Quinn’s debut lives up to it. This is a sweet and funny film that captures a time and place and where the attention to period detail (the name of a cinema, the boy with the album under his arm) is impeccable.

But while anyone who grew up back then - especially on the Northside of the city - will find the nostalgia intoxicating, ‘32A’ isn’t just for those looking back: it has relevance for today and can hold its own with any current film for younger audiences.

Quinn has done an excellent job with her four young stars, and you wonder just how much time they spent together before the cameras started rolling:

never once does their friendship not ring true and they all put in such good performances that it never feels that they are just reciting off the lines they have learned. The swings in power, the fallings out and makings up, the tension that inevitably arises when you’re living in each other’s pockets, they’re all here - and you’ll see yourself in them.

With another half-an-hour ‘32A’ could’ve further developed the girls’

relationships with the adults in their lives, but it fits a lot into 89 minutes and says a lot of things very well, perhaps even better than you’ve remembered them yourself. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll be tasting TK on your lips afterwards and as on the screen so in life, wondering where time went so quickly.

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