I Capture the Castle [DVD] 
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Based on Dodie Smiths best-selling book and now the British box office hit of the year, starring Tara Fitzgerald and Bill Nighy, I Capture The Castle is the funny and touching story of first love, families and finding out who you are. Cassandra and Rose are two sisters trapped in an eccentric family, living in a beautiful but decaying English castle. Their novelist father (Bill Nighy) hasnt written a word for twelve years and their stepmother, Topaz (Tara Fitzgerald), is struggling to hold the family together. Soon their dull world is turned upside down when a pair of handsome and eligible Americans inherit the estate, which ignites a complex love affair, threatening to tear the sisters apart.
Based on Dodie Smith's much-loved novel, I Capture the Castle turns out to be an equally lovely film, delightful and surprisingly wise. When her family moves into a glamorous castle in the countryside, Cassandra (Ramola Garai) imagines great things will happen. But the decaying castle loses its appeal as her novelist father (Bill Nighy) develops writer's block and her mother dies of cancer. From this sad beginning, I Capture the Castle becomes 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)--but when everything goes the way Cassandra wishes, 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 and Marc Blucas--is superb. --Bret Fetzer
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Top Customer Reviews
Bill Nighy is first-rate as Cassandra's cantankerous father, an author who wrote a ground-breaking experimental novel 12 years before but hasn't written a word since, forcing his family to end up living in extreme poverty in a crumbling ruin of a castle. At first I didn't take to Tara Fitzgerald's version of Topaz. I felt she was too cynical and brittle, as after all the adorable Topaz (one of my very favourite characters in fiction) is an incurable romantic, but she grew on me, and eventually I could see that she was simply bringing out Topaz's practical side more. The two girls playing Rose (who yearns for "a little black suit with matching suede accessories", and peach-coloured towels in her bathroom) and Cassandra are also well-cast and play their characters with great commitment. And I'm glad more was done with Thomas, the bespectacled, academic little brother. In the book he often comes across as the only member of the family with any clear idea of what's going on everywhere, and they've brought this out in the film.
The castle itself was a bit disappointing, looking sometimes like left-over sets from the BBC's "Gormenghast" series.Read more ›
I Capture the Castle is narrated in the first person by seventeen-year-old Cassandra (Romola Garai). Cassandra is a dreamy and wistful kind of girl who obsessively writes in her dairy and possesses a vivid romantic imagination. Cassandra is the younger sister of the flighty and more beautiful redheaded Rose (Rose Byrne). It's 1936, and they live in a crumbling, leaky, and cold rural English castle that James (Bill Nighy), their novelist dad has leased to inspire his next masterpiece.
Bad times have recently fallen on the family. Due to an accident that involved their mother, James now suffers writers block and has become a seedy, lanky, and desperate-looking man. He scored a brilliant success 20 years ago with his first novel, but now he's been artistically silent and fallow ever since, a pale shadow of what he once was. The family indulges him, hoping against hope that he'll eventually find artistic inspiration, while they try desperately to eke out a miserly and penny-pinching living.
The girls, especially Rose, despair about escaping their dank, dreary world. Only kid brother Thomas (Joe Sowerbutts) is untroubled by the family's debt and decay. Thankfully, Rose finally sees a way to escape her parsimonious existence, when two wealthy and handsome American brothers arrive at the castle to claim their inheritance.Read more ›
Rarely, the whole cast is perfect- it is impossible to do each character justice in this review, but suffice it to say that Romola Garai charms as Cassandra, Bill Nighy and Tara Fitzgerald give excellent performances as respectively troubled and bohemian James and Topaz Mortmain. Importantly, the relationships between the characters are both convinving and touching.
It also deserves to be said that this adaptation is filmed beautifully, the script is sensitively executed and the soundtrack is delightful.
I can understand that a film that focuses on a rather eccentric 1930s family and explores first love is not going to appeal to everyone, but if you like heartwarming, intelligent family drama then this is a must see.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not my cup of teat at all, boring and glum. Last 15 OK i guessPublished 3 months ago by Altered always
A wonderful charming wacky DVD - I had to have it after reading the book which is magic and absolutely superb)Published 5 months ago by alice