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Release Date: 10/07/22 [Prime Video]

Genre: Adventure

Studio: Amazon Studios

"A 14 year old girl in medieval England navigates through life and avoiding potential suitors her father has in mind."


Catherine Called Birdy is a medieval coming-of-age comedy written and directed by Lena Dunham, based on the 1994 young adult novel of the same name by Karen Cushman. 


I absolutely loved this film – and, for the record, I also really like Lena Dunham, despite the inherent controversy of that statement. 


The film stars Bella Ramsey, the beloved young Lady Mormont from Game of Thrones, in the lead role. Birdy is quirky, tomboyish and extremely likable as she seeks out all the fun and mischief she can have. Simultaneously avoiding her “lady lessons” and battling the inherent unfairness of being a girl in medieval England.


Then again, it doesn’t look like anyone had a particularly good time back then. Birdy’s poor mother, in particular, spends most of the movie pregnant or in harrowing birth scenes which almost always result in a stillborn infant.


These scenes, and many other difficult topics, are handled deftly and with great gentleness by the director and filmmakers. Catherine Called Birdy is a comedy that gives us bestie shenanigans, puzzling over hot monks and frustration over why boys get to do everything fun…like “going to watch hangings.” 


But the film also shines during difficult moments, like the hard truth that, at that time, “a young girl’s master merely changes from father to husband.” 


Birdy’s father, played by the wonderful Andrew Scott, is a selfish drunk who sees his daughter as currency; yet he also has moments of redemption, as when he comforts his wife during a particularly difficult labor. Birdy’s difficulties with her father, and with patriarchal systems in general, are relatable and inspiring without ever being cheesy or overbearing.


Catherine Called Birdy has a terrific soundtrack composed of lovely covers of familiar chick rock songs. 


This movie will charm and empower anyone who sees herself as a rebel girl at heart – along with anyone who loves rebel girls.

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