“I wish I could help every girl. But for now, I am enough.”
It’s a tale as old as time. In the first trailer for Lena Dunham’s new movie Catherine Called Birdy, Young Lady Catherine, aka Birdy (Bella Ramsey), is under the harsh scrutiny of her father Sir Rollo (Andrew Scott). She’s a woman—his daughter!—so she must follow his orders and wed the man of his choosing. Case closed.
But Birdy has another plan in mind. Though her father has a penchant for money, treating his poor daughter like a commodity to trade at the market, Birdy loves her freedom just as much. She refuses to get married, especially to some old creep who shows up at her doorstep! Any teenager in their right mind would reject some random dude. Gross.
Still, how can Sir Rollo excuse his daughter’s rash behavior after she continues to insult suitors, act immaturely, and dodge her future like it’s an arrow headed straight to her head? A bumbling idiot, Rollo fails at defending his daughter in any way. When she doesn’t attend dinner, he makes up a bad excuse. “I do think she’s come down with something,” he says. “I think there’s a little bit of pox going around.”
And, as we all know, when you tell a group of folks there’s a virus hanging in the air, they’re going to (rightfully) lose it. Perhaps pox, even a small one, isn’t the best fake illness to give your daughter.
Lena Dunham of Girls fame (and infamy) directed and wrote the movie, which is based on Karen Cushman’s 1994 novel of the same name. After Girls, Dunham has been working as a writer, producer, and director on series like Genera+ion, Industry, and the film Sharp Stick, her first in a decade.
Catherine Called Birdy comes just two months after Sharp Stick’s release, but other than their director, the films bear no resemblance to each other. Sharp Stick follows a young woman who begins a romantic relationship with her older employer. Catherine Called Birdy, on the other hand, appears to be a delightful romp akin to Jane Austen’s work.
Catherine Called Birdy will debut on Prime Video on September 23.
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