Cold Comfort Farm

Critics Consensus

Cold Comfort Farm sends up high-minded classics with a wit and impressive restraint that rivals its inspirations.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 40

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,868
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Movie Info

In 1930s England, Flora, a sophisticated young woman suddenly left penniless, seeks refuge with her eccentric relatives at the extremely shabby Cold Comfort Farm. Her presence disturbs and ultimately reinvigorates the torpid household in this witty, literary comedy, which parodies the works of Jane Austen and numerous other English novelists.

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Cast

Kate Beckinsale
as Flora Poste
Joanna Lumley
as Mrs. Smiling
Ian McKellen
as Amos Starkadder
Eileen Atkins
as Judith Starkadder
Freddie Jones
as Adam Lambsbreath
Ivan Kaye
as Reuben
Rupert Penry-Jones
as Dick Hawk-Monitor
Christopher Bowen
as Charles Fairford
Miriam Margolyes
as Mrs. Beetle
Louise Rea
as Meriam Beetle
Angela Thorne
as Mrs. Hawk-Monitor
Tim Myers
as Mr. Hawk-Monitor
Harry Ditson
as Earl P. Neck
Frederick Jaeger
as Doctor Adolf Mudel
Pat Keen
as Aunt Gwen
Robert James
as Mr. McKnag
Susannah Morley
as Mrs. Murther
Richard Bebb
as Hawk-Monitor Butler
Basil Hoskins
as Couturier
Allison Roberts
as Girl in Hayloft
Ninka Scott
as Tea Shop Waitress
Myfanwy Hill
as Young Ada Doom
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Critic Reviews for Cold Comfort Farm

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Cold Comfort Farm

  • Dec 15, 2013
    This is quite a good film that benefits from a talented cast of actors playing wonderfully eccentric characters. But, and perhaps this is just me, it's a movie that would probably be much better if you knew what it's supposed to parody. It parodies the accounts of rural-life portrayed in books by Mary Webb. I've never read a book by Mary Webb so I literally have no idea if this parody is really successful or not. From the reviews here, it seems like the movie doesn't capture the book's feel. I thought the film was a little slow until the last 30 or so minutes, when you finally get to see Flora's influence finally paying off within the family. Not that everything that happens prior to that is bad, it just isn't particularly entertaining, with the exception of Amos' scene at the church and Mybug's constant attempts to declare his love of Flora and his pretentious intellectual personality. Other than that, I found most of the movie to be hit and miss. It's not bad, but it is a little tedious, thankfully the cast keeps things light and interesting. I think the movie really starts to get going once, as mentioned, Flora's influences and her "manipulation", which it isn't as she's just trying to get these people to live their lives and managing to fulfill their potential, and I think the film's last act is really good but, by this point, I don't think it would've been enough. Again, it's not bad but there was potential to do more with this cast of characters and I think the film missed that chance. Still good, but I'd have rather read the book.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2010
    Quite possibly Kate Beckinsale's best performance (that I've seen). Very British movie about an upper-crust socialite's clever daughter (Beckinsale) moving off to a distant relative's farm to get some "real life" perspective so that she may have the necessary tools to write a great novel. Instead, she finds herself among comically miserable denizens of Cold Comfort Farm, but she marionettes each one to find good fortune - in their own way - and sees that as a predictably satisfying endeavor for herself. The movie does take some expected turns and is fairly cliche, but it does not cease to be enjoyable along the way, with some fine performances to boot.
    Neum D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2009
    Cold Comfort Farm is a delightful tale based on the book of the same name. Set in the 1940s, this story about a young orphaned girl who goes off to live with her distant relatives and bring happiness into their lives was a joy to watch. Kate Beckinsale really impresses here, as does the rest of the cast. Favorites like Ian Mckellen and Rupert Sewell also pop in the supporting cast and give terrific performances. The cinematography is just gorgeous. The big city scenes and the down-home country scenes really work well together, for a lovely blend of old-fashioned 40's mixed with ideal country establishment. The score is also noteworthy as it really lends itself to the story, giving it a peppy and upbeat feeling that is never tiresome and somehow keeps the story grounded, rather than fleeting. My only real problem with the film I guess would be the beginning of the story, as it is a bit slow to get going. The opening shot of the film of a young girl "seeing something nasty in the work shed" isn't really necessary at all. Furthermore, that whole idea that the film is centered around is never resolved, even though it plays a major part, so for me, that opening doesn't feel appropriate for this movie. Also, the sudden changes and motives in the film's characters, particularly Aunt Aida, are very sudden and not given much lead-in, but then again, perhaps they aren't necessary. I just felt that the characters in the movie change their minds rather quickly without much forethought. Still, the film is very enjoyable and delightful, as I've said before. It's always nice to see a film about people who change their lives for the better, particularly in such an upbeat and pleasant way.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2007
    This film is a lot of fun and has a cast of brilliant British actors. Everyone is great, but especially fun is the cameo by Joanna Lumley as the Aunt with a passion for bustiers & bra's. And when I say "passion" I mean that she has a vertiable museum of them in her home and speaks about them each as if they were her lovers. I saw something nasty in the wood shed!
    Robert C Super Reviewer

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