Catherine Called Birdy — Lena Dunham

Catherine Called Birdy — Lena Dunham

Catherine called Birdy It features a nice, tuned script from Dunham, but the entire project is undermined by an unfortunate lack of aesthetic character.

Her brief leave of absence from Hollywood seemingly deepening her desire to delve deeper into the machine, Lena Dunham has returned to feature directing in a big way this year, first with the recent modest-budget indie flick. sharp stick (launched by Utopia), and now with the presumably more budgeted Catherine called Birdy for Amazon. Easily the biggest production of Dunham’s career to date, this semi-contemporary adaptation of Karen Cushman’s award-winning 1994 YA novel confirms the former post-mumblecore author/HBO mainstay as a legitimate studio filmmaker. This certainly counts as new territory for Dunham in terms of demographics, gender, and overall reach, but Catherine called Birdy it doesn’t stray much further from the usual rhythms of the writer/director.

Set in England in the late 13th century, Dunham’s film is firmly rooted in its protagonist’s point of view, the source material’s diary format approximated through sarcasm, Scott Pilgrim-Esque on-screen text and substantial voiceover. The protagonist in question is Catherine or, alternatively, Birdy (Bella Ramsey, one of the few actresses borrowed from game of Thrones), the fourteen-year-old daughter of Lord Rollo (an awkward Andrew Scott) and Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper). A semi-prominent family on the brink of financial ruin and social ostracism and with a new baby on the way, Rollo sees Catherine as a solution to all these problems, a valuable asset to marry a man of stature for a substantial dowry. and a stronger social position. Catherine, a precocious and eloquent girl from a fairly classic boyish cast, naturally loathes the idea of ​​being traded for a man potentially several decades her senior, and plans to avoid this fate, longing instead to have mud fights with the local herdsmen and such. once joining the monastery like his brother did. Able to delay the courtship for a time by hiding her menstrual blood-soaked rags from her parents, her hiding place is eventually discovered and she is forced to escalate her tactics, scaring a series of thirsty men with increasingly outlandish performances of madness before find her match in a particularly dirty man known as “Hairy Beard”.

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Dunham’s screenplay does an admirable job of establishing and taking seriously the particularly grim stakes facing Catherine and, indeed, Catherine called BirdyThe best quality of is his respect for his target audience (presumably young women of a similar age to the main character). It’s a demonstration that Dunham has a natural ease with which to communicate, and much of the film’s messages and themes feel in line with her. rookie magazine collaborations of yesteryear, but it’s hard to imagine Catherine called Birdy reaching too far outside of that spectrum, YA trope-heavy procedures that probably felt a bit fresher in ’94. Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to hold on to here, with Dunham coming down from sharp stick DP Ashley Connor to streaming service cameraman Laurie Rose (Netflix’s Rebeca, Peaky Blinders), who brings a digital monotony to this film with a colorful script. Similarly, the film’s soundtrack is populated with a series of anachronistic covers performed by Dunham’s husband, Luis Feber, songs like Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” and The Angels’ “My Boyfriend’s Back” transformed into indie monotonous rock for some reason; a lot of extra work for decidedly more boring results. While her writing and the performances she gets from her actors remain confident and worthy of an Amazon budget, her aesthetic sensibilities are challenged by the scope of her project and, ultimately, Unfortunately, it is completely ignored.

You can stream Lena Dunham Catherine called Birdy on Amazon Prime Video starting September 23.

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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.