Thursday, August 30, 2012

Movie Review: COLD COMFORT FARM (1995)

Cold Comfort Farm (1995).  95 min.  Directed by John Schlesinger and starring Kate Beckinsale, Eileen Atkins and Joanna Lumley. IMBD. PG.

So I've already told you how much I loved the book Cold Comfort Farm; naturally I had to get my Netflix streaming going and watch the movie, which I'm glad to say is nearly as delightful as the book.

The movie is a sunny and faithful adaptation of Stella Gibbons' wonderful novel about the smart Flora Poste who moves in with her country-bumpkin relatives and goes about making their lives- and hers- better.  Kate Beckinsale is as charming as you'll ever see her at Flora  and a who's-who of English actors round out the Starkadders. Ian McKellan is unforgettable as the fire-and-brimstone Amos Starkadder ("There'll be no butter in Hell!") and Eileen Atkins is also wonderful as put-upon Judith Starkadder, who only wants to avoid the wrath of her mother, Aunt Ada Doom ("I saw something nasty in the woodshed!"). Rufus Sewell is a hilarious (self?) parody of the brawny farmboy beefcake Seth and Stephen Fry is great as Mybug. 

The story had a little more punch for me on the page than on the screen; if you're deciding whether to read it or watch it, I'd say read it, and then watch it if you want to. Although it's rated PG there are some sexual references. The movie is terrific but you really don't want to miss out on the book!

Rating: RUSH to see it! (movie equivalent of BUY)