Zelda Barron's first feature as director is a sympathetically observed story of how a group of English schoolgirls react when an exotic German refugee arrives in their midst early in World War II. The film's main quality lies in a luminous performance from Tara MacGowran as Patience, who befriends the refugee and experiences with her the early rites of sexual passage. Its weakness is its lack of ambition: little is made of the wartime setting, and the central relationship is shut off just at the point when it becomes fascinating. As such, stifled by its own good manners, Secret Places cries out to be shown on the small rather than the large screen.
Cast and crew