This first film by Desmond Davis, who was a cameraman with Tony Richardson on Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner and Saturday Night, Sunday Morning, has the smell of success. Davis is imaginative, prepared to take chances and has the sympathy to draw perceptive performances from his cast.
Story [from the novel, The Lonely Girl, by Edna O’Brien] is set in Dublin where two shopgirls share a room. One (Rita Tushingham) is a quiet, withdrawn girl in the painful throes of awakening. The other (Lynn Redgrave) is a vivacious, gabby, good-natured colleen with a roving eye for the boys. But when the two girls casually meet a quiet, middle-aged writer (Peter Finch), the friendship that starts up is, naturally, between Tushingham and Finch.
Finch does a standout job as the tolerant writer who, despite occasional lapses into impatience, develops a fine understanding of the problems of the girl. Tushingham is often moving, sometimes spritely and always interesting to watch in her puzzled shyness. Redgrave makes an ebullient wench.