Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy

A teenage girl in Medieval England navigates life and tries to avoid the arranged marriages her father maps out for her.

  • Released: 2022-09-23
  • Runtime: 108 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy
  • Stars: Bella Ramsey, Billie Piper, Andrew Scott, Lesley Sharp, Joe Alwyn, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Kaye, Dean-Charles Chapman, Isis Hainsworth, Archie Renaux, Michael Woolfitt, David Bradley, Mimi Ndiweni, Ralph Ineson, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Jake Middleton Cooke, Adam Aziz, Saskia Chana, Jamie Demetriou, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Russell Brand, Christophe Tek, Angus Wright, Jacob Avery, Douggie McMeekin, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings, Bola Latunji, Jessica Ellis, Jordan Adene, Tyler Howitt, Jeffery Kissoon, Moya Brady, Ramesh Nair, Antony Bunsee, Tim Bevan, Colin Murtagh, Volenté Lloyd, Trevor Jones, Chris Ecob
  • Director: Lena Dunham
  • kkmgirl-448-111988 - 26 March 2023
    A+ for Andrew Scott
    Needing something brainless and fluffy to watch, this fit the bill just fine. I'm not bothered by the historical inaccuracies because there are SO much, it reads intentional. The main plot device is inaccurate in itself- a noble lady would carry a dowry into marriage. If she's broke, the best she can hope for is being attractive or titled enough to find a suitor willing to have her... they wouldn't be lined up as portrayed here. I'm not a Lena Dunham fan, but I think this was entertaining and subtle (for Dunham). Although the main character was too naive to truly be a medieval young woman (the whole menstrual bit was farfetched), I understood what the messaging was intending to convey. I always use subtitles which definitely came in handy here as some dialogue was hard to catch and worth catching- for the most part the writing was snappy and humorous. Great casting all around with Dad (Scott) stealing every scene. Bella made a believable tomboy, but it was hard not to remember her as a mini GOT badass. The soundtrack paid homage to my younger years which was cool to hear, except Mazzy Star "Fade Into Me" should never be messed with- it's perfection as it is. I dig Carter Burwell so it made sense I liked the majority of what I heard. The cinematography was lush and beautiful-- a star in it's own right, so high marks there. Is any of this realistic? No. Can it still be enjoyed on a Saturday night in PJs? Yes. Just don't overthink it.
  • tiffanyguest101-792-809937 - 22 January 2023
    So hilariously funny but accurate to the era, and brilliant for young adult audiences.
    Catherine Called Birdy follows Bella Ramsey as Catherine aka Birdy, who after her father (played by Andrew Scott) realises they are absolutely broke decides to wed his daughter to keep the family and his lavish lifestyle going.

    Except Birdy doesn't want that, she doesn't want to marry and have to grow up. She still wants to be free and wild and childish and thus begin her plans to turn off every suitor.

    I found this balanced the time of the 1200s really well with having a humorous side in turning away suitors and teenagers being silly combined with the realities of that time. Birdy had men of all ages coming for her hand from 14 all the way to 60s ish, and also her friend Aislyn, also needing to be married has to marry a 9 year old boy at 16. It portrays well the way children especially girls had no power in their futures or who to spend their lives with and the reality that girls at 14 didn't know what sex or periods were at that age.

    It was brilliant to see periods spoken about so openly in the show with the dramaticness provided by Birdy and thinking she is dying but also the horror at the fact that she is becoming a 'woman' because of that and thus more marriageable material. The trying to hide it and the sadness at realising this is actually happening felt so relatable and I think is an important thing to show in movies for young girls so they can find relatable experiences and not feel so alone.

    There are quite a few familiar British faces in the cast with Billie Piper, Joe Alwyn, David Bradley and Russell Brand and it was so refreshing to see people from the UK take up so much of the cast along with newer and younger stars who will be up and coming stars like Bella Ramsey and Archie Renaux.

    The costumes felt very on tone with the time era, I wouldn't be able to say for definite that they would be accurate for the era but they are recognisable to what I would imagine the Medieval times, but they didn't make the cast look utterly gorgeous. It was very shapeless and kind of ugly but really set up the scene.

    I highly recommend watching this for a quick and fun movie, it isn't highbrow butis perfect if you want a fun time!
  • locklearconsulting - 25 November 2022
    Just an OK girl power film with a horrid soundtrack
    This is a modern girl power movie set in a historical setting but ignoring the history. It has funny moments but it's not memorable. What really hurts the movie is the soundtrack. If they just got someone else and redid the soundtrack this would save the movie.

    The actors are good and sometimes very good. But again nothing special. Lots of problems with props that just aren't period correct.

    The writing is ok also. Again it's not bad but it's a story we have seen over and over and over and over again. Really nothing unique.

    So what you wind up with an average story, an average cast and a bad soundtrack. In the end it's just passable. But I can understand where young teens will enjoy it.

    It's definitely worth watching once.
  • writetonight-1 - 23 October 2022
    Nothing Special
    This is a cute movie, but kind of boring. The main character is supposed to be fun, but she's too narcissistic. And when will this horrible anachronistic diversity casting fad end? I can't count the number of recent films that have been ruined by it, and this is no exception. It's just old and tired at this point.

    This is the sort of movie I should have liked a lot. For instance, I loved the show "Galavant," which was also a comedy set during the medieval period. The screenplay for "Catherine Called Birdy" is nowhere near as clever as the writing for "Galavant," and it even seems to steal plots points from it. "Galavant" also has a young woman who is being forced to marry a boy much younger than her.
  • trinaboice - 17 October 2022
    Fun Medieval romp with some powerful moments
    THINGS I LIKED: Bella Ramsey does an excellent job in this medieval coming-of-age tale and seems like what Lena Denham would have actually been like as a teen. It's surprising that this is Bella's first role in a feature film. She's a natural.

    Lesley Sharp plays an adorable nanny, and Andrew Scott gives a powerful performance that impressed me with his depth.

    The set designs are fantastic and completely believable.

    Russell Brand gives a hilarious performance. Have you seen his YouTube channel lately where he rants excitedly about politics in an entertaining fashion?

    The diverse cast is great and also includes Billie Piper, Joe Alwyn, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Kaye, Dean-Charles Chapman, Archie Renaux, and Michael Woolfitt.

    There is a lot of cheeky humor that will make you laugh out loud, as well as snicker inside.

    There's a delightful, youthful energy while simultaneously painting an old-fashioned sensibility of the Middle Ages.

    Fun soundtrack!

    THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: In the last scene, Bella Ramsey breaks the 4th wall, which is both funny and incongruent with the style of the entire movie. I haven't decided yet if I liked that choice.

    There's a lot of talk about a girl's monthly period.

    TIPS FOR PARENTS: Talk of how babies are made and menstruation. We see blood on some pieces of fabric.

    We have to read some text on the screen.

    You might have to explain to your kids how things were in Medieval Europe.

    THEMES: Gender norms Tradition Marriage Miscarriage What's fair and what's not in life

    You can see the full review on the Movie Review Mom YouTube channel.