Secret Places is a pleasing evocation of schoolgirl life in England during World War II.
Based on a novel by Janice Elliott, the film recounts the initially hostile response of a group of adolescents to the enrollment of Laura Meister, a German refugee, in their all-girl school. Gradually her exotically winning ways and intelligence secure her enrollment in the select circle which gathers in ‘secret places’. Things turn sour, however, when a girl’s father is killed in battle.
The plot relates the psychological pressures which lead to Laura’s attempted suicide.
Marie-Therese Relin captures the gestures and looks of a girl whose emotional resilience conceals suffering. Tara MacGowran is right on as a repressed English girl.