TIFF 2022 Review ‘Catherine Called Birdy’

Lena Dunham brings Karen Cushman’s novel to life with Catherine Called Birdy

Lean Dunham brings her second directoral debut to life with the medieval comedic film Catherine Called Birdy, adapted from the Newberry winning children’s novel by Karen Cushman. The story revolves around Lady Catherine, nicknamed Birdy (Bella Ramsey) who the 14 year old daughter of Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott) and mother (Billie Piper) who is constantly pregnant but hasn’t been able have a child survive beyond childbirth since Birdy. 

The story tells the tale of Birdy going through adolescence with broke parents, annoying siblings, and having menstruation for the first time, which means she is now a woman and according to her father’s standards, which means she needs to get married. Especially because her marriage would determine the financial fate of their family. Birdy is stubborn, and does not like the idea that girls should be ladies at such a young age and have a dominant husband and while meeting with potential suitors, Birdy puts on a image of this lazy, unwanted “wife” so she frightens all the potential suitors off.

Catherine Called Birdy had a few laughs, but there was nothing spectacular that kept me wanting to watch the rest of the film. Ramsey who is best known for her role on Game of Thrones, sort of brought the same stubborn characteristics into play but also created a witty and charming vibe to Birdy, which keeps you entertained for the majority of the film, but overall the film wasn’t anything too different from a typical teenage tale.

Watch the trailer for Catherine Called Birdy below

Catherine Called Birdy had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 12, 2022.

Catherine Called Birdy is now available on Amazon Prime