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I Capture the Castle (2003)

Cast: Romola Garai, Rose Byrne, Henry Thomas, more...
Director: Tim Fywell
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Comedies, Foreign, British Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Coming of Age , Dysfunctional Families, UK
Running Time: 113 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

Based on the novel by Dodie Smith (101 Dalmatians), director Tim Fywell's comic romance follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai) and her quirky family as they attempt to make the best of their meager existence in a crumbling English castle. While her father (Bill Nighy) has been struggling for over a decade to repeat the success of his debut novel, her beautiful sister Rose (Rose Byrne) frequently voices her displeasure with their current situation, and nudist stepmother Topaz (Tara Fitzgerald) proves little help at much of anything. The arrival of American landlord Simon Cotton (Henry Thomas) and his brother Neil (Marc Blucas) provides a glimmer of hope as the initially repelled Rose soon takes a liking to Simon and the two arrange to marry. Lost in the chaotic shuffle of marriage plans and increasingly complicated relationships, the hapless Cassandra soon begins to blossom into womanhood as she experiences aspects of life that were heretofore unknown to her. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Nicely captured if not extraordinary by underdog January 13, 2004 - 4:09 PM PST
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Tim Fywell's beautifully rendered 1930's dysfunctional family drama is held together for the most part by Romola Garai's astonishingly winning performance as the youngest (but most psychologically stable) sister. Garai was only seen previously (by me) as Kate in the recent screen version of Nicholas Nickleby (and will soon be seen in an adaptation of Vanity Fair) but you'd hardly know she was an acting neophyte. Also fine is underrated character actor Bill Nighy as the father, an eccentric writer trying desperately to atone for the sins of his past as well as to get through a long-running case of writer's block. The story ambles its way, occasionally aimless and even more occasionally melodramatic, but emotionally it usually rings true. The period details are well captured, and the castle, a crumbling old building that the family clings to, is itself a character. One thing that keeps the movie from completely hitting the mark is the (mis)casting of Henry Thomas -- certainly not a bad actor, and, playing the part of the American at the center of the film's Jane Austein-ish romantic plot, certainly looks the part. But he's really flat and sullen here, and doesn't engage the audience in a way necessary to keep things moving. The movie's mid-section, which features him, is the creakiest part, and it also often feels like the literary adaptation that it is. But stick with it. With Garai and Nighy leading the way to the moving conclusion, Castle ultimately succeeds as a dramatic family period piece.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.43)
54 Votes
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