Cold Comfort Farm (TV Movie 1995)

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Cold Comfort Farm: Directed by John Schlesinger. With Eileen Atkins, Kate Beckinsale, Sheila Burrell, Stephen Fry. A recently orphaned young woman goes to live with eccentric relatives in Sussex, where she sets about improving their gloomy lives.

“u0026quot;Child, child. If you come to this doomed u0026#39;ouse, what is there to save you?u0026quot;- Judith Starkadder in COLD COMFORT FARM.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe u0026quot;childu0026quot; in question is the lone offspring of one Robert Poste (deceased) and, as we are soon to discover, Posteu0026#39;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 Maryu0026#39;s invaluable manservant, Sneller) and heads for the bucolic splendor of the Sussex countryside to lodge with her relatives, the Starkadders, and find herself.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRobert Posteu0026#39;s child 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 u0026#39;vengeful godu0026#39;, proselytizing father (Cousin Amos), and an iron-willed matriarch (Greataunt Ada Doom). Thereu0026#39;s also a smattering of Lambsbreath (Adam) and a smidgen of Hawk-Monitor (Dick).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eInside 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 matriarchu0026#39;s frequently mentioned trauma after having witnessed a particularly odious occurrence inside the outdoor log pile storage facility (u0026quot;…something nasty in the woodshedu0026quot;). 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.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAs 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), hasnu0026#39;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 Sewellu0026#39;s Seth smolders hilariously while Stephen Fryu0026#39;s Mybug, u0026quot;soaked in natureu0026#39;s fecund blessingu0026quot;, 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.”


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