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I Capture the Castle [Import]

Romola Garai , Rose Byrne , Tim Fywell    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 90.94
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Product Description


When her family moves into a glamorous castle in the English countryside, Cassandra (Ramola Garai) imagines great things will happen. But the decaying castle loses its appeal as her novelist father (Bill Nighy, Love Actually) develops writer's block and her mother dies of cancer. From this sad beginning, I Capture the Castle turns into an utterly engaging coming-of-age story as 17-year-old Cassandra and her older sister Rose (Rose Byrne) struggle to win the attentions of their new American landlord (Henry Thomas, E.T. The Extraterrestrial)--but when everything goes the way Cassandra hopes, her hopes fall apart. Garai's wonderful performance carries the audience through bittersweet discoveries about life and adulthood with hope and yearning. The entire cast---also featuring Tara Fitzgerald (Brassed Off) and Marc Blucas--is superb. I Capture the Castle is an absolutely lovely movie, delightful and surprisingly wise. --Bret Fetzer

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very different tone than the original Aug. 7 2009
By liz
I've been reading the book and thought it would be nice to see the film. Certainly it's gorgeous to look at, and Romola Garai is fantastic as Cassandra, but the whole tone is entirely changed from Dodie Smith's novel. If you have not read the book then I suppose the film is fine, but I find it odd that they took a very charming comedy and turned it into an overwrought drama. All the charm of the Mortmains is lost and they are simply objects of pity. Tara Fitzgerald has some of Topaz's compassion, but is physically entirely wrong and is a fair bit earthier than the original Topaz. Bill Nighy is very well cast though.

Overall I found it quite disappointing, but as I said, perhaps if you have not read the book it would not be a problem. I'd love to see it done as written, though, and would heartily recommend the book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Breathtaking Oct. 25 2003
Okay, let me start off by saying that I had to DRAG my mother to see this movie with me, but she wound up laughing harder than I did! This is a beautiful film set in the 40's English countryside. It's a coming of age story (based on the novel by Dodie Smith) about a girl and her family, poverty, society and best of all first love. The cinematography is gorgeous and the set of the castle is exactly the way I pictured it. It's definately what you would call a "dramedy" with just the right mix of subtle (mostly - except perhaps for the bear joke) humor and the dose of pain you would feel if your experience with first love turned into a bitter family situation. This is a touching film and allows you to really feel as though you want to help the characters and offer them a shoulder to cry on. Trust me, it's worth a couple hours of your time! Plus, Marc Blucas is a total hottie! *smile*
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars different than the book, but still okay April 29 2004
By A Customer
I was prepared to be very disappointed by this movie, as I've loved the book for years. But the film version actually made me think about the serious aspects of the plot - aspects that are under-emphasized in the book due to the narrator's dry British wit. The film focuses almost exclusively on the melodramatic, but it made me realize that the events of the book really are quite serious: the family is nearly starving, the father did serve in prison for pulling a knife on the mother, and Rose's fiance kisses her sister, who then falls in love with him. The film made me think about the deeper story of the Mortmain family, behind Cassandra's humorous narrative. If you've read the book and loved it, don't worry that the film will ruin it for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "There is only one page left to write on..." June 15 2006
As this coming-of-age drama opens, best-selling author James (Bill Nighy) sees a crumbling old castle and immediately falls in love with it. Thinking it the perfect place to write his sequel, he moves his family into it. Twelve years later, he hasn't been able to write a word and the family is penniless. Daughters Rose (Rose Byrne) and Cassandra (Romola Garai) hate living in the isolated ruin and are desperately tired of being poor. The new landlords come to visit; Simon Cotton (Henry Thomas) and his brother are rich, young, and single. Rose sets her sights on Simon and vows to marry him for his money, even if she doesn't love him. And younger sister Cassandra wants very much to be in love, too.

The story is narrated by Cassandra as she writes in her diary. Romola Garai is perfect as the plain, thoughtful younger sister, the lovely Byrne is convincing as the flirty big sister, and Henry Thomas is a sincere suitor. Bill Nighy steals the show with his larger-than-life personality and manic behavior. The year 1936 is reproduced in fine detail, and the English countryside is beautifully photographed. It's a sweet little movie about growing up and learning to accept one's family that would most appeal to teens, I think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars *GLIMPSES OF CASTLE LIFE: NOT THE WINDSORS !!* May 25 2004
By mcHaiku
Romola Garai plays a winsome Cassandra Mortmain in this adaptation of Dodie Smith's ("100 & One Dalmatians") 1930s story "I CAPTURE THE CASTLE." Cassie is a 17-year-old who wants to be a writer and lives in impoverished naivete in a decaying British castle with gorgeous sister Rose, wise-eyed brother, & the famous author-father who has a decades-old writer's block ~ but lacks Micawber's charm. Topaz, the stepmother, is artistically inclined to frequently 'air' her body on the glorious green hillsides. After the castle's American heir and his brother arrive, the story naturally progresses to 'marrying off' the two sisters.
Teen pulchritude living 'clueless' and tattered in a run-down castle adds up to comic situations and angles. The production is reasonably faithful to Dodie Smith's story. It definitely delivers a light interlude for romance fans in their teens and twenties. The film, rated "R" for some nudity, got scant distribution in the U.S., and that resulted in almost no press. At least watching the DVD will allow viewers to critique some discarded scenes AND even a different ending. ENJOY ~ ~ and more than once......The FIFTH STAR is awarded for Beauty!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful coming of age story....... Jan. 23 2004
I must admit that I haven't read the book but I love British comedy/drama so I purchased this dvd without even having seen the film before. I must say I have been very pleased with my choice.
I enjoy this film immensely. It brings to mind that other fascinating British adaptation, "Cold Comfort Farm" starring Kate Beckinsale. "I Capture the Castle" has that sweet, romantic, dreamy feel that completely enraptures the viewer with its charm, humor and wit.
The story centers around 17 year old Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai of "Nicholas Nickleby" and "Daniel Deronda") and her eccentric family. Her father (Bill Nighy of "Love Actually" and "Underworld") is an author who hasn't written a word in 10 years. Her sister Rose (Rose Byrne of "Troy" and "Star Wars Episode II) yearns to marry well and get away from their dreary, depressed circumstances. Her stepmother Topaz (Tara Fitzgerald of "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall") is an eccentric artist who tries to keep her family together. Cassandra and her brother Thomas appear to be the only sensible beings in their household. Everyone else seems to be falling apart. Then there is their Adonis-like helper Stephen (an eye-opening role for Henry Cavill of "Count of Monte Cristo") who really does remind me of a Greek god.
The Mortmain's lives are turned upside down with the arrival of the wealthy Cotton brothers (Henry Thomas of "E.T." and "I'm With Lucy" and Marc Blucas). Soon enough, Stephen falls in love with Cassandra who falls in love with older brother Simon Cotton who falls in love with Rose. Before long, Rose is planning her wedding.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars They Captured My Heart
A lovely movie. Enjoyed very much the drama and humour, the English setting, and wonderful story. Acting and characters were excellent.
Published 11 months ago by Barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars I Capture the Castle
I was a second generation lover of this wonderful coming of age story and was delighted when it was made into a movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2011 by Boomer girl
4.0 out of 5 stars I didn't think I'd it enjoy it as much as I did
I thought this would be a rather childish movie and something just to while away the time but it turned out to be quite delightful. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2007 by i_read_therefore_i_am
2.0 out of 5 stars No Castle Captured
This film is a great disappointment after Shakespeare in Love . There are some intellectual ideas that stem from the movie, but they go nowhere. Read more
Published on Oct. 19 2004 by M. Mckeown
3.0 out of 5 stars A More Modern Jane Austen
This was a lot like Emma and Pride and Prejudice rolled into one. It was a bit plodding and too long.
Published on June 16 2004 by shree
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly good period piece
This literary adaptation is beautifully written, expertly acted and amazingly well cast. Every actor is exactly right for his/her role. Masterpiece Theatre should be this good. Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Bill Leubrie
2.0 out of 5 stars Annoying faux art film
This is a predictable period piece romance/drama - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The breathless, repetitive and "affected" narration by the Cassandra character is... Read more
Published on April 23 2004 by Nic Piet
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little period piece, but why so obscure?
Why have I never heard of this terrific movie before? It turns out to be one of the best films of 2003. Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by Mr. Mister
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