“Katherine Called Bird” by Lena Dunham – KristenBellTattoos.com

Lena Dunham directed a medieval comedy drama. Katherine named Birdie. The film is an adaptation of the book of the same name by Karen Cushman, starring Bella Ramsey, Andrew Scott, Billie Piper.

Katherine named Birdie begins towards the end of the 13th century, and here the exposition begins. Katherine (Bella Ramsey) describes her life, her friends and family. Her father Sir Rollo (Andrew Scott) and mother Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper) of Stonebridge have three children and one to come. Her older brothers have gone their separate ways: Edward (Archie Renault) has become a monk, while Robert (Dean-Charles Chapman) wants to become a knight. Catherine is called “Bird” because she keeps many birds as pets. Catherine’s relationship with her parents is strained. She is a 14 year old girl who plays by her own rules, loves to break the law and get dirty. Her mother wants her to be more feminine, while her father is counting down the days until he can marry her to the highest bidder.

The family is going bankrupt, so Rollo hopes that she will soon find a rich groom. Several suitors approach the Stonebridge estate and try to woo the young girl, but she fails. Katherine fails all attempts until she is forced to accept a marriage proposal from decrepit old man Shaggybeard. As her parents count down the days until she must leave her new husband, Katherine begins to reflect on what it means to be a woman and why women and young girls are forced to keep up with such toxic and patriarchal traditions.

Katherine named Birdie reminds me of Kelly Fremont Craig’s 2016 film Edge of Seventeen, but the action takes place in the Middle Ages. She is as stubborn, annoying and selfish as any teenager. However, her rebellious attitude towards marriage with a man at the age of 60 is justified. Cushman’s novel is a little more serious in tone, so Dunham took a huge risk by making this film more comedic. Her risk paid off, because who could watch a dark movie about child marriages. And no, Dunham is not mocking the subject or making jokes, but is using humor as a survival mechanism for Katherine and the audience.

While the middle part of the film is the weakest part, Cave Quinn’s production design and Julian Day’s costumes are the highlights of the film. It’s such a huge world and could easily dive into low-budget territory, but their work elevates the visuals, aided by cinematography by Laurie Rose. Medieval landscapes are dull, gloomy and dirty, and the camera work is just right for this aesthetic.

As she travels the world on her path to womanhood, Katherine learns valuable lessons in selflessness, love, and acceptance. She definitely wants to make everyone else’s life miserable, because the idea of ​​leaving everything you know to be with someone you don’t love is too much to bear, so why not let others feel that pain? The book has a completely different ending than the movie, which was a smart move because at least the character retains his autonomy. The book is dark, but Dunham makes a more hopeful, inspirational conclusion, and the girl learns the most important lesson of all: Just because you’re unhappy doesn’t mean you can’t be happy for others.

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