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I Capture the Castle (2003, Romola Garai, Bill Nighy)

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Based on the novel by Dodie Smith (better known as the creator of 101 Dalmations) this slight but appealing period (1930’s) drama centres around 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain (played by newcomer Romola Garai) and her eccentric family. Her father, James, played by a dissolute Bill Nighy is penniless and the family are renting a crumbling castle in Suffolk.

Tara Fitzgerald pops up as stepmother Topaz (Fitzgerald is rapidly becoming this generations Jenny Agutter unable to keep her clothes on in any role – here she is given to naked moonlight wanderings) and there is a role for Australian Rose Byrne as Cassandra’s sister Rose who is determined to escape the confines of her surroundings and find love with some rich sugar daddy. This is may just do when a pair of handsome American brothers turn up to check out the estate they have just inherited (an estate which includes Mortmain Castle).

With a theme focusing on love and whether you should compromise your ideals for the sake of actually being with someone I Capture the Castle is a film of great charm. With high quality performances throughout I Capture the Castle makes for a piece of solid entertainment.

production details
UK | 113 minutes | 2003

Director: Tim Fywell
Script: Heidi Thomas
Novel: Dodie Smith,

cast
Romola Garai as Cassandra Mortmain
Bill Nighy as James Mortmain
James Faulkner
Sinéad Cusack as Mrs Cotton
James Warrior
Sophie Stuckey
Henry Cavill as Stephen Colley
Tara Fitzgerald as Topaz Mortmain
Rose Byrne as Rose Mortmain
Marc Blucas as Neil Cotton
David Bamber
Henry Thomas as Neil Cotton
Joe Sowerbutts as Thomas
Sarah Woodward
Dolly Wells
Christopher Ettridge

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