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Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy

2022

In 1290 medieval England, Lady Catherine "Birdy" Rollo navigates the crumbling Stonebridge Manor, where financial woes fuel her father's desperate plans to marry her off for wealth and land. But this spirited teen heroine is not one to be tied down, using wit and cunning to outsmart suitors and forge her own path, sparking a battle of wills with her parents that culminates in a test of love and independence.

Runtime: 108 min

Language:

Genres:

Ratings:

Metacritic

74

Metascore

6.7

User Score

Metacritic
review

88%

TOMATOMETER

review

64%

User Score

Metacritic

6.6 /10

IMDb Rating

Metacritic

62.0

%

User Score

Check out what happened in Catherine Called Birdy!

In the medieval world of 13th-century Lincolnshire, England, Catherine, affectionately known as Birdy, is a spirited 14-year-old girl growing up amidst the opulence of her family's estate. Her father, Lord Rollo, and mother, Lady Aislinn, have instilled in her a sense of freedom and adventure, which she indulges through her mischievous escapades with her nurse, Morwenna, and her friend Perkin, a peasant boy who often joins forces with her. However, the family's lavish lifestyle is put to the test when Rollo learns that their financial situation is dire and can only be salvaged by marrying Birdy off to a wealthy suitor.

As Birdy begins to experience the trials of adolescence, marked by her first menstruation, Morwenna guides her through the process with compassion. Meanwhile, Rollo becomes increasingly determined to find Birdy a suitable match, much to her dismay. The family is further rocked by Aislinn's latest pregnancy tragedy, which leaves Birdy feeling anxious about her mother's well-being.

Refusing to surrender her freedom and autonomy, Birdy employs unconventional tactics to deter potential suitors, causing Rollo to grow increasingly exasperated. The arrival of Aelis, a dear friend, brings new dynamics to the household, but Birdy's heart is soon broken when she discovers that Uncle George, with whom she has harbored romantic feelings, has married Ethelfritha, a wealthy widow.

Birdy's world is turned upside down once more as Rollo announces Aislinn's pregnancy again, sparking Birdy's fears about her mother's health. Amidst this turmoil, a new suitor emerges in the form of Sir Henry Murgaw, who earns the nickname Shaggy Beard due to his unkempt appearance. Despite Birdy's best efforts to deter him, Shaggy Beard proves to be an unwavering pursuer, presenting her with a purse full of money and challenging her to spend it when she agrees to marry him.

As tensions escalate, Aelis finds herself in a precarious situation, with her father arranging for her marriage to a nine-year-old boy. However, fate intervenes, and the young groom soon meets his demise, much to Robert's satisfaction, as he harbors secret feelings for Aelis. Birdy seizes the opportunity to give Shaggy Beard's money to Robert, hoping it will aid him in winning Aelis' hand in marriage.

As Birdy makes her way to Uncle George's, she discovers that the romanticized tales of his adventures were nothing more than fabrications. Ethelfritha attempts to tempt her into joining forces and embarking on thrilling escapades, but Birdy is met with a stark realization: abandoning her family and friends would mean sacrificing a part of herself. With newfound resolve, she decides to prioritize the well-being of those around her by committing to marry for the sake of the family.

Upon her return home, she's greeted with an unexpected crisis - her mother's labor has become complicated. Rollo steps in to offer words of comfort and guidance, helping Aislinn navigate the challenges of childbirth as she gives birth to twin daughters. The day of departure finally arrives, and Birdy says a tearful farewell as she prepares to leave with Shaggy Beard. As their carriage trundles away, Rollo intervenes once more, insisting that Birdy remain by his side.

Shaggy Beard, however, remains resolute in his desire to marry Birdy, prompting the two men to agree to a duel. Despite his lack of swordsmanship skills, Rollo proves victorious, but Shaggy Beard's sudden "injury" allows him to disengage from the duel and extricate himself from the situation. The assembled crowd ultimately takes matters into their own hands, removing Birdy from the carriage and nullifying the marriage agreement.

As she reflects on her experiences, Birdy chronicles them in her diary, vowing to preserve her hard-won freedom within the constraints of her world. Her carefree interactions with Perkin serve as a stark contrast to the tumultuous events that have transpired. Meanwhile, a suitor approaches, marking the beginning of a new chapter in Birdy's life.