I Capture The Castle

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Dodie Smith, who died in 1990 at the age of 94, was an affectionately amused observer of English middle-class life. She's best known for her play, Dear Octopus, filmed in 1943 with an all-star cast, her children's book, The Hundred and One Dalmatians, twice filmed by the Disney Studio (plus a sequel), and the novel, I Capture the Castle, which her authorised and authoritative biographer Valerie Grove regards as her masterpiece.
The novel, Grove tells us, nearly became a Hollywood movie before Smith had completed it. In 1943, when she was living in Los Angeles, the first three chapters were shown to MGM, which was interested in filming it if she would dictate the rest of the plot to a secretary.
She declined and put the unfinished book aside for a couple of years. So now we have a modestly budgeted British version rather than a plush MGM film in the manner of Lassie Come Home and National Velvet that might have featured the cream of Hollywood's English colony. Back in 1943, the Californian coast would have stood in for Smith's Suffolk; now this task falls to the Isle of Man.
The first movie of the well-established TV and stage director Tim Fywell, I Capture the Castle has its greatest strength in Romola Garai and the character she plays, the 17-year-old Cassandra, the pretty, deeply romantic, amusing diarist who observes and participates in the lives of her colourful family.
The time is the mid-Thirties, the place a ruined castle with some barely habitable rooms in Suffolk. Dad is a blocked novelist, author of a single succès d'estime that no longer delivers royalties; stepmother Topaz is a self-dramatising former artists' model who likes to run naked through the rain; elder sister Rose is determined to escape genteel poverty by bagging a wealthy husband; little brother Henry is a bespectacled know-all.
Into this Cold Comfort Castle stumble contrasted American brothers, both rich and handsome, the elder of whom has inherited the estate on which the castle stands. Jane Austen is said to have told an inquirer that she wrote about 'Love and money, what else is there to write about?' The same is true here. It's handled with affection, though the humour is heavy-handed and the reflections on the literary life none too convincing. But Cassandra and her diary are captivating.

amused - rozbawiony

bag - upolować, zająć, złapać, zanim inni to zrobią

barely habitable rooms - pokoje ledwo nadające się do mieszkania

bespectacled - w okularach

captivating - ujmujący, uroczy, czarujący

chapter - rozdział

to decline -tu: odrzucić prośbę, nie zgodzić się

to deliver royalties dostarczać honoraria autorskie, tantiemy

diarist - osoba pisząca dziennik,

to dictate - dyktować

estate - posiadłość

genteel poverty - szlacheckie ubóstwo (zubożała szlachta) – bez pieniędzy, ale z aspiracjami do klasy wyższej

inherit - odziedziczyć, otrzymać w spadku

inquirer - pytający

masterpiece - arcydzieło; największe dzieło danego artysty

modestly - skromnie

novelist - powieściopisarz

plot - fabuła

plush - dosł:pluszowy, aksamitny, przen: luksusowy, drogi, szykowny

stepmother - macocha

stumble - wpaść przypadkiem, natknąć się, zabłądzić do,

with an all-star cast - z gwiazdorską obsadą


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