xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
I Capture the Castle is the kind of novel dreamy adolescents curl up with on rainy Saturdays, imagining themselves as members of a poor but brilliantly eccentric family living in a decrepit English castle. It's that kind of movie, too, about a sublimely impractical family given to sudden dramatic outbursts. It's a romance ever so much more inspiring for teenage girls than the materialist propaganda they get from Hollywood, teaching them to value genius above accessories. And there's a serious undercurrent; this story was close to the heart of the author, Dodie Smith, whose other novel, 101 Dalmatians, was more light-hearted and aimed at younger readers.
As the movie opens, the Mortmain family on a country outing finds a castle--small and run-down, it is true, but undeniably a castle--and the father, James, stands on the battlements and declares, "I will write masterpieces here!" He is given to such pronouncements, often followed by a sideways glance to see if anyone believes him. He did write one well-regarded book, it is true, but now he descends into a long barren period, and in 1936, when the story takes place, the Mortmains are behind on the rent, short on food money and increasingly desperate.
The Mortmains are: James (Bill Nighy), the father who seems to be going around the bend; his wife, Topaz (Tara Fitzgerald), a long-tressed artist; younger sister Cassandra (Romola Garai), who is the narrator, and the official family beauty, Rose (Rose Byrne), who is so impatient with poverty that at one point she runs out into the rain and announces she plans to sell herself on the streets and will borrow the train fare to the city from the vicar.
The girls' mother died some years earlier, and Topaz does her best with two ungrateful girls and a husband who seems on the edge of madness. Then one day all changes when two young Americans arrive in the district. They are Simon and Neil Cotton (Henry Thomas and Marc Blucas), the sons and heirs of the owner of the property, and rather than collect the back due rent, they proceed to fall in love with Rose--Simon obviously, Neil quietly. Their British mother (Sinead Cusack) is both appalled and amused by the family, and invites them over to dinner, an event that has to be seen to be believed.