I Capture the Castle

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I Capture the Castle ★★½ 2002 (R)

First, the R rating is dumb—it's for a bit of nudity that wouldn't shock a country vicar. Second, the film is based on the book by Dodie Smith (who wrote “101 Dalmatians”) and is a coming-of-age tale set in 1936 in the Suffolk countryside. The Mortmains rent a small crumbling castle and times are hard. Dad James (Nighy) ignores his family and hides away to “write,” leaving flaky second wife Topaz (Fitzgerald) to cope. Cassandra (Garai) is 17, smart, and pretty but overshadowed by her ambitious, beautiful older sister Rose (Bryne) who is determined to marry well. She gets her chance when two wealthy American brothers, Simon (Thomas) and Neil (Blucas), arrive to claim their inheritance, which includes the castle. Quite a romantic tangle ensues. Fine acting, particularly by Garai who gives the story its point of view. 113m/C VHS, DVD . GB Romola Garai, Rose Byrne, Henry Thomas, Marc Blucas, Bill Nighy, Tara Fitzgerald, Sinead Cusack, Henry Cavill, James Faulkner, Sarah Woodward; D: Tim Fywell; W: Heidi Thomas; C: Richard Greatrex; M: Dario Marianelli. L.A. Film Critics ‘03: Support. Actor (Nighy).