I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle – 2003 | 113 mins | Drama | Colour
Based on the 1948 novel by Dodie Smith, I Capture The Castle is an enchanting love story set in 1930s England. Heidi Thomas’ faithful adaptation marks the feature film directorial debut of television veteran Tim Fywell, who beautifully captures the period trappings. I Capture The Castle is a restrained coming-of-age drama with endearing moments, but it nevertheless falters in the final stages due to excessive plot twists and a lack of character development. Of the first-rate ensemble cast, Romola Garai in particular shines in her first starring role, proving to be an excellent teenage narrator and charismatic lead.
17-year-old diarist Cassandra Mortmain (Romola Garai) and her eccentric family struggle to survive in a decaying Suffolk castle until there is a light on the horizon in the shape of a wealthy American. Cassandra’s barking mad father (Bill Nighy) is a self-indulgent novelist desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but has suffered from writer’s block for 12 years. Her beautiful sister Rose (Rose Byrne) can only rail against their fate, and their bohemian stepmother Topaz (Tara Fitzgerald) is a nudist and no help at all.
Salvation comes in the shape of their American landlord Simon Cotton (Henry Thomas) and his roguish brother Neil (Marc Blucas). Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her in order to save the family – and succeeds. A wedding is arranged and Cassandra is left on the sidelines as everyone around her is drawn into a maelstrom of interconnected relationships. But events spiral out of control, and before the summer ends she will experience frustrated desire, first love, and a broken heart.
Tim Fywell: Director
Leigh Walker: Art Direction
Mike Stallion: Art Direction
Richard Greatrex: Cinematography
Roy Sharman: Editing
Lisa Westcott: Makeup Department
Dario Marianelli: Original Music
David Parfitt: Producer
Anant Singh: Producer
David M Thompson: Producer
John Paul Kelly: Production Design
Heidi Thomas: Script
Peter Gleaves: Sound Department
Peter Glossop: Sound Department
Mike Grimes: Sound Department
Hugh Johnson: Sound Department