The film follows 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain, and the fortunes of her eccentric family, struggling to survive in a decaying English castle. Her father is desperate to repeat the spectacular success of his first novel, but hasn\'t written a word for 12 years; her exquisite sister Rose can only rail against their fate, and their Bohemian step-mother Topaz is a nudist and no help at all. Salvation comes in the form of their American landlord Simon Cotton and his brother Neil. Although initially repelled by Simon, Rose is determined to make him fall in love with her 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.


A well upholstered British period piece.  

I Capture The Castle is the first adaptation of the much loved 1948 novel by the 101 Dalmatians author Dodie Smith. In the 1930s, writer James Mortmain, Bill Nighy, who has one acclaimed novel behind him and a bad case of writer\'s block, moves into an ancient castle with his wife and three children. Years pass, his wife dies and James is now married to Topaz, Tara Fitzgerald, who likes to dance naked in the rain. James\' two daughters, Rose, Rose Byrne, and Cassandra, Romola Garai, have grown into attractive young women, and Rose, particularly, is sick of life on the edge of poverty far from the social whirl. When an American family, legal owners of the castle, come to live on the estate, Rose sets her cap at Simon, Henry Thomas. Unfortunately, Cassandra fancies him too.

Tim Fywell\'s first feature covers the rather familiar ground of British period films (and tv series) about mildly dysfunctional families. The film, though attractively photographed for the Scope screen, is small in scale and it\'s fairly predictable, too. But for once the actresses cast as sisters really do look like sisters, and Romola Garai, as Cassandra who tells the story, and Rose Byrne, as the rather flighty Rose, are excellent - it\'s good to see Byrne find such a meaty role in a non-Australian film - perhaps for her the start of an international career.

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1 hour 53 min