Catherine Called Birdy is another film that I went into not familiar with the source material, which is a book by Karen Cushman released in 1994. The film is written and directed by Lena Dunham, the mind behind the HBO series Girls, who considers this film a passion project. I knew the film had a period setting going into it, but I didn’t expect a medieval dramedy with a wonderful cast of familiar British actors. It is in theaters now in a limited release, but it will arrive on Prime Video this Friday.
Catherine Called Birdy Review
The film follows Lady Catherine (aka Birdy), a young 14 year old girl who wants to break free from the gender norms of 1290. Bella Ramsey (who will be starring in the upcoming HBO series The Last of Us) stars as the titular character and takes what made her a fan favorite on Game of Thrones into this role as well. She’s perfectly cast in the role and has great chemistry with everyone she shares the screen with.
Birdy’s parents, Lord Rollo and Lady Aislinn, are played by fan favorites Andrew Scott (Sherlock) and Billie Piper (Doctor Who). It’s nice to see both of them on screen, especially Billie Piper, who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago at Philadelphia Wizard World (now FanExpo). The supporting cast is peppered with familiar faces as well, particularly Sophie Okonedo and David Bradley. There’s another very surprising appearance but I’ll leave that one as a surprise for everyone!
Overall, if you’re a fan of British television/period films, you will absolutely enjoy Catherine Called Birdy. It takes a medieval period piece and gives it a modern flare (especially in part to the modern music choices used). It also has a wonderful cast that have great chemistry across the board, especially Bella Ramsey, Andrew Scott, and Billie Piper. It’s not something you have to watch right away, but I’d add it to your watchlist for a rainy day!