Camilla Dickinson caught my eye because my daughter enjoyed reading A Wrinkle in Time by the same author, Madeleine L’Engle, who authored Camilla, which the movie is based.
Co-written and directed by L’Engle’s god-daughter, Cornelia Duryée Moore, the movie is refreshing and a reminder that films can be simple, poignant without the box office bonanza. We so often see movies incased with special effects and evil villains out to destroy the world – not the case with Moore’s feature film debut.
Moore was primed to direct this movie with a resume that includes quite a bit of writing, acting and theatrical familiarity. She even co-founded the Seattle Shakespeare Company.
Adelaide Clemens plays the daughter of an affluent family in 1948 Manhattan. At first she seems shy and withdrawn because her mother played by Samantha Mathis is being romanced by a Frenchman. She can’t tell her dad played by Cary Elwes because he is stoic and feels his wife is too emotional and immature to confront the issue.
Camilla meets her best friend’s brother Frank played by Gregg Sulkin. They begin an innocent courtship that is true enough to reinstate her trust in true love. Like any story, complications crop up and keep the plot moving along but never really hindering Camilla’s new found independence. Her independence is nurtured through Frank, his friends and music. Camilla shares her desire to be an astronomer and study celestial bodies. Frank encourages her and her confidence grows.
The whole cast is very good, but the movie is a bit too long and could use some trimming down where the scenes start too soon and end too late. Still, I enjoyed the movie since it is a believable story of the 1950’s.
The period look is attractive and adds to the story of the era. It is an interesting tale considering whose author later in life created wonderful inspired tales with females as central characters.