Catherine Called Birdy: high jinks in Merry Old England

Bella Ramsey in Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy features Bella Ramsey in a tale about a 14 year old girl in medieval England who doesn’t want to do anything involving rules. She especially doesn’t want to marry someone with money just to save her family from ruin.

Catherine Called Birdy has been available on Prime Video for some time. I resisted watching it because I’m not impressed by the writer and director, Lena Dunham. However, I was impressed by Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us, so I gave it a chance.

Young teens who are just beginning to rebel will love this one. The humor is raunchy, the sexual references and innuendos are corny, and the actors are excellent.

Bella Ramsey in Catherine Called Birdy

When we first meet Birdy (Bella Ramsey), she’s exuberantly engaged in a mud fight. This is her element and she loves it.

When she heads home, we discover that her parents are the lord and lady and she’s a troublemaker of a wild child. Her father, Lord Rollo (Andrew Scott), is just realizing how broke he is. Her mother, Lady Aislinn (Billie Piper), is in the midst of delivering another stillborn child – there are already several tiny graves in the graveyard. Her nanny, Morwenna (Lesley Sharp), is quite upset about her muddy attire because she’s already had a bath that month.

Birdy loves to run loose with her best friends. Perkin (Michael Woolfitt) is a peasant boy and Aelis (Isis Hainsworth) lives in a neighboring manor.

Attention is paid to Birdy’s first menstrual period, which she tries to keep secret from her father. When he eventually finds out she’s “a woman” he solicits suitors with wealth to marry her.

The suitor who eventually claims her is Shaggy Beard (Paul Kaye), a truly disgusting old lech.

Birdy is secretly in love with her handsome Uncle George (Joe Alwyn). Then, horrors, he decides to marry the wealthy widow Ethelfritha (Sophie Okonedo). Her best friend Aelis deserts her to marry someone very unexpected.

Birdy seems destined to marry the horrid Shaggy Beard. Unless someone saves her.

Bella Ramsey in Catherine Called Birdy

Catherine Called Birdy is based on the popular YA book by Karen Cushman. It’s a romp, complete with fart jokes, meant to set off giggling in teens who share Birdy’s feelings and coming of age plight.

If you give it a watch, please share your reactions in the comments.

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