Clever Kate and naughty Baba are ingenuous heroines typical of novelist Edna O'Brien's shamrock imaginings. Growing together in leaps and bounds, the girls progress honourably from village to convent school, propelled from there by the boot of notoriety to Dublin. Maeve Germaine and Jill Doyle are splendid, cutting an irreverent swath through this lyrical romance, transforming guilty pleasures into innocent delights. And Sam Neill deserves a mention for recreating yet again a character of urbane charm and simian morals with no discernible sign of boredom. But it is finally director Davis' verdant vision of southern Ireland that opens out O'Brien's novel of '50s mores and manners to something that, although essentially a TV film, plays gracefully on the cinema screen.