Prime Video has had an original film, directed by Lena Dunham, on its service for the last few weeks. It has been on my “My Stuff” section for a bit now. Tonight, I put it on and watched Catherine Called Birdy.
The Amazon original movie was set in medieval times, though there was a distinct present day feel to much of the story, a comedy/coming-of-age tale of a young girl named Catherine (Bella Ramsey), also called Birdy, who desperately did not want to become a ‘lady.’
Birdy was the only daughter of her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) and mother, Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper). Lord Rollo was anxious to marry off his 14-year old daughter because their family had fallen on troubled time financially and he needed the dowry she would fetch to help their family. The problem, Birdy was rebellious, wanted no part of any marriage and she actively was sabotaging every suitor he father had arranged.
Bella Ramsey carried this movie with her remarkable performance as the troublemaking Lady Catherine. Her dry responses were quite funny and the situations she found herself in were humorously confusing. She was able to provide every emotion that Birdy had to go through and she did it realistically. Maybe not as realistic for the Middle Ages, but she felt very sincere as a young girl.
Andrew Scott was great as Lord Rollo. You could tell he was frustrated by Birdy’s machinations and that he felt guilt over what he believed that he had to do. Andrew Scott is always great in his roles and his relationship with Bella was an important piece of the film.
There were several side stories going on around Birdy and they were mostly compelling, especially the attempt of her parents to have another child despite continuous tragedies.
Funny and compelling, Catherine Called Birdy is a film that you should give a chance.