Based on the Dodie Smith (101 Dalmatians) novel of the same name, this sweet drama focuses on the teenage life and first romances of young Cassandra (Garai), who lives with her eccentric family in an almost condemned castle in 1930s Suffolk. Her father (Nighy) is a writer who hasn’t written anything for over a decade (which explains why they have no money and haven’t paid their landlord for two years), while Cassandra’s sister Rose (Byrne) spends her time wishing for a handsome and wealthy man to take her away from the crumbling walls and leaking pipes. Her prayers seem to be answered when two American brothers come to call, having inherited the nearby mansion, and Rose soon sets her sights on the eldest, Simon (Henry Thomas), despite his brother Neil’s (Marc Blucas) obvious interest in her, and unaware that Cassandra has fallen for Simon herself.
A nice tale of growing up and growing wiser, this drama works well, thanks to the spot-on casting of Byrne, and especially Garai (who appeared in the BBC’s Daniel Deronda), who is in virtually every scene and injects each one with memorable warmth.
Is I Capture The Castle suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...