Cold Comfort Farm (TV Movie 1995) Poster

(1995 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Review this title
68 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
"I'd take the old woman as well -- but she's so gloomy!"
dennisayers6 September 2004
This film was produced for BBC television but had a theatrical release the next year -- probably to take advantage of the popularity of all those Jane Austen movies (Emma, Persuasion, et. al.) It is not a Jane Austen story, but it is a sort of genial romance/comedy of manners (set in the early 1930's?) with a plucky, bright, but penniless heroine. The book it was based on was actually a parody of Gothic romance fiction. Even though this movie is played for laughs (and has many), it still manages to make you care for the characters. Everything works here and (editing, cinematography, performances) and you really appreciate what the director, John Schlesinger, managed to do on a probably skimpy budget.

This movie was the first I ever saw of Kate Beckinsale and I thought she was fantastic in it. I remained a fan for a long while, even though her subsequent movie performances (and choices) have been awful. She finally lost me with her recent laughable turn in Van Helsing. Nevertheless, she WAS good in Cold Comfort Farm, so if you're no fan of Beckinsale don't let that dissuade you from seeing this movie.

Other standouts in the cast are Eileen Atkins, Rufus Sewell, and Ian McKellen who is screamingly funny as a fire and brimstone preacher.

This film is definitely worth having on video or DVD in that it bears up very well to repeated viewings. I've seen it at least 5 times since its release, and my estimation of it rises with each viewing.
50 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Amusing, or diverting...not "such fun"
SarahNM11 March 2000
I simply adore this movie! From beginning to end it shines with wit and hilarious depravity. Having read the book, I think it safe to say that this is one of the best transitions from page to screen. Everyone is perfectly cast in this - particularly Kate Beckinsale as Flora, Joanna Lumley as Mrs. Smiling, Eileen Atkins as Judith and Ian McKellen as Amos. Rufus Sewell makes for great eye-candy as Seth, and the virtually unknown Maria Miles is adorable as Elfine. Aunt Ada Doom, played by Sheila Burrell, constantly reminds us that "There have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm," and although it's probably best to keep it that way, she's in for a few surprises. Flora's dealings with Mr. Mybug, hysterically portrayed by Stephen Fry, are alone worth the price of renting this movie.

Flora's decision to go to Cold Comfort Farm after her parents die sets the tone for the rest of the movie; it sounds "Interesting and appalling...the others just sound appalling!" If you want a good chuckle, or just love good British humor, by all means, see this movie!
66 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightfully funny and gorgeously imaginative!
Cini342 September 2003
Cold Comfort Farm has been and remains one of my favorite movies of all time. Why? Simple: it is hilarious, has a star-studded and perfect ensemble cast, and is a beautiful adaptation of an equally, if not more hilarious, book. When one thinks about this movie, one always returns to the cast and how well-suited they were for their roles. Kate Beckinsale fits perfectly in the role of London débutante Flora Poste who, like Jane Austen, "could not endure a mess." Ian McKellen plays his role to fire and brimstone perfection. Rufus Sewell is remarkably well suited as the smoldering Seth with his brooding eyes and husky, outdoors-y sentiments. Eileen Atkins plays the extremely depressed, reverse-Oedipal mother of Seth in all her exceptional oddness. This is but naming a few of the fabulous cast members that fills this film. The film itself is beautifully filmed and beautifully acted. I would highly recommend it to anyone who 1)enjoys subtle British humor and 2)just enjoys an all-around excellent film.
51 out of 54 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Plenty of comfort and humor on this farm
Mitch-3824 September 2000
Humorous film involving a spirited young woman by the name of Flora, who brings her stylish views of living, to the oppressed residents of a country farm. The humor at times is very dark and cutting, and oft times hilarious. They'll be plenty of good, quotable material from this well-crafted film, to go around. My favorite: "...Drain the well, there's a neighbor missing..." The script is very slick, and the performances are even better. If you enjoy offbeat humor mixed with a really sweet story, you'll like this movie.
22 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"There Is No Butter in Hell" but we find "Comfort" in Sussex
peacham22 June 2000
Praise is the only thing I can give this comedic gem of a film! Gibbon's characters come vividly to life in this perfect adaptation of her retro-Austin book. Kate Beckinsale give the best performance of her gifted career as "Robert Poste's Child",Flora who take up an invitation to Cold Comfort Farm with the motive of changing her extended family,the Starkadders, who reside there ("there have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm"),and find out what the "great wrong" was that they had done her father,a wrong that they are most repentant of. By film's end she has accomplished one of these goals.

The cast is sheer perfection.Beckinsale is vivacious,perky,gutsy and completly charming,Sheila Burrell is a riot as family matriarch Ada Doom who keeps a tight leash on her family and hardly leaves her room since she "saw somthing nasty in the woodshed". Sir Ian McKellen is dynamic and utterly hysterical as Cousin Amo Starkadder who preaches fire and brimstone sermons warning all that in hell there is no butter to sooth the burns. Eileen Atkins as Amos wife,cousin Judith and Freddy Jones as their hired hand are also standouts,but with such a perfect cast there are no weak links,so take sit back and take a journey to the far regions of Sussex with Flora Poste and investigate the quirky Starkadder family, with secrets aplenty at Cold Comfort Farm..once there you will want to make many more visits
40 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Read the book
Opticon1 February 1999
Most movie versions of books are disappointing because a good book is always a far richer experience, but this one doesn't shame its source. In fact it's an amusing romp, largely because all the actors are letter perfect -- not easy with a broadly satiric story like this one. Flora Poste's romantic notions actually produce positive results with the loutish Starkadders, such as matching the etiolated Elfine with her true love and sending the smoldering Seth off to become an American film star, while Flora herself ends the movie linked to her own very suitable suitor. Dialogue and motion picture scenery cannot reproduce the exquisitely sly writing of Stella Gibbons, however, so if you liked this movie, by all means read the 1932 book. It's a classic parody of rustic melodrama.
26 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
extremely funny
cherold30 May 2005
Absolutely terrific movie is an interesting take on the popular theme of people who come into a mess of unhappiness and create joy. Often these movies rely on a central character who is magical, or has great charm and a love for life, but Flora achieves her ends through pure English practicality, and it is very amusing to see someone approaching misery as a mess to be cleaned up. Flora, excellently portrayed by Beckinsale, is pretentious and rather smug but also well-meaning and likable. In a way she seems to be the personification of British imperialism, although that's probably a bit of a stretch.

Much of the fun of the movie is the ridiculous level of misery and squalor represented by Cold Comfort Farm, which is a parody of the sort of grim worlds one can find from writers like Dickens. Eileen Atkins does a great job, but then they all do. The only real weak point in the movie is Mybug, who seems completely unnecessary. Perhaps he was a significant character who served some purpose in the novel, but here he is just this annoying peripheral character, and had he been cut entirely out of the movie it would have been all the better for it (although I generally like Stephen Fry). In spite of that, an excellent film.
19 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Absolutely hilarious but give it time to grow on you
stevehiner23 December 2003
The first time I saw CCF I walked out of the theater wondering whether or not I liked it. The more I thought about it and a couple rentals later and I love this movie. It's funny on so many different levels you've really got to dedicate a few viewings before passing final judgment.

This is one of the few movies I'd put in the same category as "Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" - movies that get funnier the more times you watch them.
28 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This is the perfect movie.
The_Moose_From_Kansas15 February 2003
Period, end of statement.

There are a few films that are so incredibly well done, so seamless, that they could be watched daily. Well, that *I* could watch daily.

This is one!

It never lags, it never sags.

It is funny, it is real.

It is touching, it is hopeful.

Kate Beckinsale started her career on such a high note with this early work!

The rest of the actors are simply perfect in their roles. Sim-ply perfect!
27 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Austen meets Shakespeare
Antyrael9 November 1998
This film has to be one of the most enjoyable films I have ever seen. The sincerity and wittiness of Jane Austen combined with the ridicule of a Shakespearean play, Cold Comfort Farm tells a clever, little story about a young, determined London-girl who is set on lifting the curse of the Starkadder family. Kate Beckinsale's Flora Poste is as unshaken and well-spoken as Austen's Emma (who Beckinsale has also starred as) but in a more cheerful and less hypocritical manner.

The names in the film do their best to describe the utter depravity of the Starkadder's: The horse Viper, the cows Aimless, Senseless, Heedless and Desireless and aunt Ada Doom. The acting in the film is flawless and Stephen Fry is just the icing on the cake.
21 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Laughter, Soaked in Nature's Fecund Blessing
MoviolaSteenbeck14 May 2007
"Child, child. If you come to this doomed 'ouse, what is there to save you?"- Judith Starkadder in COLD COMFORT FARM.

The "child" in question is the lone offspring of one Robert Poste (deceased) and, as we are soon to discover, Poste's progeny, Flora, is hardly one in need of saving. Orphaned in her budding womanhood, nettled by the golden orb of an unrealized literary career, Flora strikes out from the discerning (or snobbish) urban sophistication of London ( leaving behind her good friend Mary and Mary's invaluable manservant, Sneller) and heads for the bucolic splendor of the Sussex countryside to lodge with her relatives, the Starkadders, and find herself.

She finds instead: a muck-begrimed tumbledown estate wherein resides a ready-for- Hollywood womanizer (Cousin Seth), an estate-coveting farmer (Cousin Reuben), a daffy romantic (Cousin Elfine), a too-loving mother (Cousin Judith), a 'vengeful god', proselytizing father (Cousin Amos), and an iron-willed matriarch (Greataunt Ada Doom). There's also a smattering of Lambsbreath (Adam) and a smidgen of Hawk-Monitor (Dick).

Inside the Starkadder fold Flora encounters a resistance to dish washing modernity (the twig versus the hand mop); the rumor of an unmentionable misdeed once perpetrated against her father; the oft-cited permanence of the Starkadders on their environs; and the matriarch's frequently mentioned trauma after having witnessed a particularly odious occurrence inside the outdoor log pile storage facility ("...something nasty in the woodshed"). Undaunted, Flora presents a cool brow and an almost impervious demeanor plus an extremely persuasive power to influence. Within COLD COMFORT FARM, where high fashion and applied scientific reasoning smash headlong into arrested sociological development and stunted personal/ familial growth, tear-inducing laughter is the order of the day.

As mentioned in the comments of others, Ms. Beckinsale, clad in her natty period togs and radiating a winsome, unflappable aura (while also projecting a strangely prepubescent vibe), hasn't had as good a role since Flora. Meanwhile, those master thespians, Freddie Jones, Ian McKellan, and the inimitable Eileen Atkins nearly go mad with delight as they burrow gleefully into their characters. Rufus Sewell's Seth smolders hilariously while Stephen Fry's Mybug, "soaked in nature's fecund blessing", blusters uproariously. This sort of comedy of manners and cultural collision required an intelligent, perceptive and witty director. John Schlesinger (DARLING, 1965) fit the bill gloriously.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A wonderfully different comedy
eunice-425 July 1999
I first saw Cold Comfort Farm way back in the early 70's on TV, but this latest version is so much funnier. Kate Beckinsale makes a wonderful bossy "take charge" Flora, and everyone else in the cast is just hilarious. Eileen Atkins' scenery chewing when her son, played by Rufus Sewell, was leaving home to become a Hollywood film star, just about had me in hysterics. The dread menacing atmosphere, the dark hints about something seen in the woodshed, and the general squalor of a once prosperous family gone to ruin are all conveyed in a humourous but not slapstick or farcical way. The Starkadders mooch about muttering threateningly until Flora eventually sets them all on the right path to recovering prosperity. Flora is the kind of upbeat heroine who would take a hot cup of cocoa to Dracula "because he is probably cold after all that time in the tomb." A very enjoyable film for those who like something different.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Something Nasty in the Woodshed
aimless-4621 July 2006
If you are searching for comparisons to help you decide whether to watch "Cold Comfort Farm" imagine a slightly older "Pollyanna" going to live on a rundown version of "Babe's" English farm with a strange and bleak collection of her country cousins.

This is an excellent and very earthy adaptation of Stella Gibbon's 1932 satirical novel (which itself is an odd marriage of Hardy and Wodehouse). Where the village pub is named "The Condemned Man" and the cows are named Aimless, Feckless, Graceless, and Pointless. Both the novel and its adaptation are joyfully depressing and packed with literary eccentricity and subtle humor. If you like "Faulty Towers" then you can expect to get off on the humor. But if you prefer "Hot Shots! Part Deux", you should probably pass on "Cold Comfort Farm".

There are three possible viewer reactions: It's not funny. I didn't figure out it was a comedy until halfway through but then I found it hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing.

Kate Beckinsale plays Flora Poste (always referred to by her relatives as Robert Poste's daughter), a recently orphaned 19 year old who chooses to live with relatives (the Starkadders) she has never met, at gloomy Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex. Beckinsale, even more radiant than usual, pulls off a nice characterization of the resourceful yet snobbish heroine. Like Pollyanna, she is a catalyst for positive change, but they are calculated changes. Her instinctive snobbishness (Beckinsale has a real talent for this) is played for laughs since everyone would feel a bit superior and distanced from this eccentric collection of misfits.

The adaptation nicely incorporates Gibbons's subtle parody of Jane Austen romantic clichés, from the controlling madwoman in the attic to wood nymph poetess, to the quivering parishioners. Even the production design is a funny send-up of the standard BBC mini-series look.

This is really a terrific production, doubly so for Beckinsale fans.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A zany, random and hilarious movie
ViveLaNeige1 August 2005
"Cold Comfort Farm" is one of those movies that, as others have said, grows on you each time you watch it, and after it has done so, you want to pass it around to all your friends. It's great fun to see how Flora Poste's (Kate Beckinsale) arrival at Cold Comfort Farm brightens this dreary, incredibly odd family's life and how she sets about making everybody's life there better. Ian McKellan is excellent (as usual) in his role as the head of the Starkadder household, and the fiery preacher at the local church. If you let it, this movie will be one that you take out and watch over again with great enjoyment, and whose quotable lines become part of your family's lingo for all time.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A comfortable roll in the hay
lastliberal10 April 2007
First part of a twin bill I watched featuring Ian McKellen (X-Men, Lord of the Rings). He played a fire and brimstone country preacher that reminded me of the 17th Century Puritan Minister Cotton Mather.

The movie starred Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain) and Kate Beckinsale (Underworld). Beckansale played a girl in 1930s England who went to the rural farm property after the death of her father. In a period comedy she proceeds to change the lives of her extended family in a way that gives each of them what they want and free them from their bondage to the seemingly crazy matriarch (Sheila Burrell).

It was a very cute piece and to see Ian McKellen preach his sermon was an experience not to be forgotten.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of My Favorite Movies
cheshire55122580022 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is Kate Beckinsale back when she acted instead of did action movies for big bucks. Although I wish they hadn't left out some of the characters and changed some things around from the original book, this movie kept the whacky spirit of Stella Gibbon's novel.

For instance, in the novel there were a host of other Starkadders being mistreated by Aunt Ada Doom who Flora helps, Rinnit marries the author Mr. Mybug (Myerburg!) played by Stephen Frye, not Ruben, and the farm isn't actually in bad shape. Ruben has been cooking the books he shows to Aunt Ada so that he can use the money to improve the farm.

I have only been able to get my hands on one of the two sequel novels that Stella Gibbons wrote about these same characters, Conference at Cold Comfort Farm and it is not quite as good. But you do get to find out what happened to some of the characters after WWII. Someday I hope to get a copy of Christmas at cold comfort farm to read.

Whacky good fun and I like the message that people should follow their own dream (even nutjob religious maniac Cousin Amos, brilliantly played by Sir Ian McKellan) rather than be a slave to a tyrant. It is unrealistic that Aunt Ada can be redeemed so easily but I like the way she was played, as having an epiphany when the American film Czar Mr. Neck asks her if the nasty thing in the woodshed saw her.

Excellent movie all around.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
cold and warm at the same time
lee_eisenberg23 May 2006
"Cold Comfort Farm" has a familiar plot, but is very well done. Portraying young Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale) moving in with her backwards relatives in 1930s England and trying to change everything, the movie has the perfect pacing. It's the sort of situation where her relatives sort of irk you, but you can't help but admire them (mainly due to Flora's snobbish attitude about everything). It just goes to show what a great director John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy", "The Day of the Locust", "Pacific Heights") was. He will definitely be missed. Also starring Eileen Atkins, Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Ian McKellen, Miriam Margoyles and Rufus Sewell.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A great little gem of a movie
Thomas-White24 May 2005
This is one of those little gems you'll be lucky to find in a video store if you're on the lookout for such an item, or, like me, are likely to find on movie channels such as IFC or Sundance, which is where I saw it. Kate Beckinsale plays a young lady among a decidedly strange group of relatives on an obscure English country farm and, while ostensibly there to write her first novel, brings change to the lives of everyone involved. All the players are delightfully involved in their characters and all seem genuinely committed to this quirky little piece which is both lighthearted and eminently watchable. A young Kate Beckinsale is captivating in her loveliness and expressiveness which is totally controlled and shows her to be a born actress. Definitely one to capture on DVD!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This movie is absolutely enchanting
SuluJamboree2 December 2001
When I first watched this movie, I wasn't sure if I would like it, but as the story unfolded, I grew to love it more and more. This movie features a stellar cast which includes Kate Beckinsale, Sir Ian McKellan, Rufus Sewall, and Dame Eileen Atkins. The dry, witty, and very subtle humor in this film makes it all the more enchanting to watch and to quote. I sincerely recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys thinking about what they are laughing at, and who just loves British film-making, this movie is certainly one of the best! All praise to John Schlesinger for making such a wonderful masterpiece.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A delightful comic romp
jimbonic1218 May 2009
Oh how I loved this movie. It's movie heaven to me. It's funny, romantic, escapist, and has a happy ending. It left me feeling happy and energized. I just got the DVD and hadn't seen the movie before, and I was delighted. This is the sort of movie the Brits excel at: it's subtle, not violent, has superb performances, has a wry, intelligent script, the cinematography is visually beautiful shots of the British countryside, and the score is lovely and sets and matches the tone of the movie. It's low key and humanistic as opposed to Hollywood mainstream blockbusters with their explosive special effects. Farm doesn't have any special effects but is a delight because of the witty, intelligent script, superb acting, and visually gorgeous cinematography.

I recommend turning the subtitles on if you're watching the DVD because the British accents and slang make it easy to miss words and lines without the subtitles.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cute British comedy
sjmcollins-116 July 2004
Kate Beckinsale is charming and Ian McKellen is hilarious in Cold Comfort Farm, a comedy about a young aristocrat shaking up a morbid farm family sometime shortly after World War I. Beckinsale's character steals from Emma a bit, arranging everyone else's love lives and making dreams come true, while remaining a bit on the spoiled-brat side. McKellen plays Amos Starkadder, and gives some gut-busting fire and brimstone speeches in a local church. Freddie Jones also has some great lines as the doom-and-gloom Adam Lambsbreath. This is light comedy at its most featherweight, but the talented ensemble makes it come out fairly well. The lush photography provides a beautiful landscape.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Significant transformation Occurs!
Celuloyd20 March 1999
This film is so enjoyable and significant that the right words seem to be absent in describing this tale. Unique characters that are in direct opposition to one another seem to relate and offer possibilities previously unknown, which forsters real change for the first time. The main character, Flora Post becomes the catalyst for change in all of the characters and finally impacts herself in this saga. Films do not get any better than this one! First rate acting, a great script, which leads to a realistic outcome. Though a typical happy Hollwood exists here, one never questions its relevance to film's continuity. This film lover enjoys each performance of Cold Comfort Farm and continues to recommend it to serious film fans of honest and intelligent tales! Very Highly Recommended! 9+ Rating!
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Delightful satire
SKG-220 March 1999
While we Americans(I say we, since I'm American even though I'm landed in Canada) tend to think of Monty Python when we think of British humor, there's also a satirical type of humor that seems to be unique to Britain. It can get rather dry, so dry that it's simply not funny(like the novel LUCKY JIM), but when it works, it's great to watch, and it works here. A friend of mine said while the book may have been a parody of Dickens, this film can be seen as a parody of Merchant/Ivory, and I think he's right. A couple of people who have commented have compared Flora Poste to Emma, and I'll have to admit that never occurred to me, but it seems apt.

I see I'm getting literary here. Well, yes, this movie is literary(after all, Flora aspires to be a writer), but never in a condescending or precious way. Instead, it's funny and witty(which went out in American humor a long time ago), full of great characters and flawless performances. Huge kudos, of course, go out to Kate Beckinsale, who had little to do as Hero in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, but shows herself to be quite a comedienne here. But the supporting cast, including Joanna Lumley as Flora's friend Mary Smiling, Sheila Burrell as Aunt Ada Doom, Ian McKellen as Amos, and Rufus Sewell as Seth(also Stephen Fry and Eileen Atkins) are all perfect as well. One more thing; "There'll always be Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm!"
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
"Robert Poste's child" tidies up a messy old farm and liberates its inbred inhabitants
oowawa3 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This is a wonderful movie--my favorite comedy of all-time, and it's based on a truly classic novel, first published in 1932. In Flora Poste, "Robert Poste's child," Stella Gibbons created one of the enduring characters in the great canon of English Literature. Part Thoroughly Modern Millie and part Mary Poppins, this unflappable and distinctively British neo-flapper is always totally in control. She can't be bought. She can't be sold. She can't be baited (although she can be dated--but only on her own terms). And she always knows which end is up, and exactly what's what. She's urbane and hip, but she likes to preserve neatness and cherishes a sense of order: "Nature's all very well in her place, but she mustn't be allowed to make things untidy . . . " Sounds like Mary Poppins! And like Mary, Flora is going to enter a dysfunctional household and set things right. (And like Mary, after "mission accomplished," she will fly off into the sky at the end.)

It is most "diverting" to watch Flora repeatedly go nose to nose with the dirty, loutish and intimidating Starkadders without blinking or losing one bit of her composure and equanimity. As for Kate Beckinsale's performance as Flora, It's hard to imagine that this demure and perfectly controlled actress is the same person who will later play the sexy vampire warrior Selene who specializes in killing werewolves in the horror-action series "Underworld." But perhaps the werewolves of Underworld are not so different from the Starkadders of Cold Comfort, whom she also subdues, but in a more genteel fashion, and without any blood and gore. In both cases, Kate is triumphant (and does Kate Beckinsale remind anybody else of Kate Middleton? Watch "Serendipity.")

Other delights of Cold Comfort: Joanna Lumley as Mrs. Mary Smiling: watch this familiar vivacious actress command a scene and hold a conversation with her eyes. Oh, and Joanna still has lots of "it"; that's her as Aunt Emma in "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Stephen Fry as Mr. Mybug. Pseudo-intellectual pomposity played to perfection. My favorite line: "let me warn you. I'm a queer, moody brute, but there's rich soil in here if you care to dig for it." His plan to write a treatise proving that Branwell Bronte was actually the author of the classics written by his sisters is hilarious.

But my favorite scene in the entire movie is when Amos Starkadder (played by Ian McKellen) in his role as hellfire and brimstone amateur evangelist preacher, delivers his fiery sermon to the "Church of the Quiverin' Brethren." Yes, the congregation actually quivers and shakes as Amos taunts them with the tortures that await them all: "You know what it's like when you burn your hand takin' a cake out of the oven or lighting one of them Godless cigarettes? And it stings with a fearful pain. Aye? And you run to clap a bit of butter on it to take the pain away, aye? Aye. Well, I'll tell ye. THERE'LL BE NO BUTTER IN HELL!"

And of course I must mention horrible old Aunt Ida Doom, whose refrains "I saw something nasty in the woodshed" and "There's always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm" are the mantras that maintain her tyrannical control over the homestead--the demonic spells with which Flora must contend. And there's much more! Every role is perfectly cast, and played to perfection. This film is truly a must-see. A whole-hearted 10 out of 10 stars.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A totally charming comedy which can be enjoyed repeatedly.
Tom Murray29 April 2006
Set in the late 1920s, this totally charming comedy alludes to many other films, sometimes subtly and sometimes obviously. A Gilbert and Sullivan mood is set up quickly and the film proceeds to a typical Gilbert and Sullivan ending. A young English lady, Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale), was recently orphaned. Having an allowance of only £156 per year and no interest in work, she moves in with poor, depressed relatives. The family are convinced that there is a curse on them and their belief is self-fulfilling. The dwellers on the farm are similar to the Addams family without the humour. Flora's manipulations and positive thinking, change all of their lives for the better. This is a very charming and funny movie, with the fun being driven by exaggeration and positive change. It is good for many delightful viewings. PS: Look for allusions to Pollyanna, Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations etc. Every time I see it I notice more.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed