01 May, 2010

I Capture the Castle

Well, mes amis, it's apparently Movie Week at Chez House. And by Movie Week, I mean that elusive and multicultural category of "movies based on the book" that I never tire of clicking on at Netflix. What a terrible category! Everything from The Odyssey to A Clockwork Orange and beyond, and never mind that the authors themselves don't have categories. How am I supposed to easily access other movie adaptations of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels without opening another tab? And how am I to know that Dodie Smith, authoress of I Capture the Castle, is also the author of a far more famous - if unjustly so - little story called 101 Dalmatians? I already knew that, but still. It irks me and is yet another reason I should be In Charge of Things.

Have you ever read this book? I recommend it, especially if you are a fan of things like the titular castle, the awkward years of the 30's, and extremely clever young ladies who write. And the film adaptation is excellent and holds true to the end of the story, which is apparently very important to me. It strikes me that this story might be one of the ones that the unsinkable Ms. Friedan was talking about when she discussed the differences between literature of the '30's and of the '50's - even though ICTC was published in 1949. Also, it's a novel beloved by such diverse authors as J.K. Rowling and Christopher Isherwood, so it's worth a read.

In this 2003 film version, we meet Cassandra Mortmain, daughter of a one-hit-wonder of a book and inhabiter of an honest-to-god castle, where she and her family are a bit crackerdog. Lucky for us, Cassandra keeps a journal, otherwise we might never know that a pair of American brothers has come to town for the express purpose of NOT marrying either sister. And you know how that always turns out. Hijinks of the properest kind ensue, and it is delightful even though I do not covet the styles of the 1930's as much as I do those of the 1950's. Flapper dresses and the shapeless waifs who inhabit them do not flatter me in the same way, despite my undying love of Erte and Singin' in the Rain. Anyway.

The sets and costumes were delightful, the acting was charming, and I have never found Rose Byrne to be so lovely as she is with ginger curls. I hope for her sake that they are natural, although that might lead jealous fans to try to snatch them off her pretty head, in which case it might be better if they were a wig.

I do, however, find it difficult to watch the young men in this movie. The more times you've seen E.T., the harder it will be for you to seriously consider Eeeeeeellliiiiooooooot Henry Thomas as a main love interest. Similarly, I continually had to remind myself that Riley "Bad-Ass Vamp Duster" Finn wasn't going to suddenly start staking creeps because Marc Blucas may not, in fact, be Riley Finn. And then there is Henry "Always the Bridesmaid" Cavill, for whom I feel a mixture of sympathy and relief (the wikipedia link is hiLARious here. Since when has being 24 put a stop to playing a "youth of 17"? Way to dodge that bullet!). But aside from the visual distractions of casting familiar - dare I say iconic? - faces, the movie was perfectly corking, old chaps.

9.5 of 11 yellows. Did you know that yellows go to eleven? Now you do.

P.S. - don't be afraid for my focus - there has been knitting on both THB's socks and Val's shawl. I shall take pictures soon.

1 comment:

  1. Tika Dahhhling, ICTC happens to be one of my favorite films. Kind of makes me want to die my clothes green and dance naked in the moonlight.

    That's all. Over and out.