Stella Gibbons' popular novel was published in 1932, and it has been adapted twice for British television, first as a miniseries in 1971, then by director John Schlesinger in 1995. That version proved so popular that it was released to theaters in the U.S. The heroine of Gibbons' story, Flora Poste (Kate Beckinsale), is an aspiring young writer with two needs: material for her first novel, and a cheap place to live and work. A wealthy friend encourages her to take advantage of her country cousins and impose upon them for lodgings. Flora finds Cold Comfort Farm to be a ramshackle affair populated by eccentrics including the imperious Ada Doom (Sheila Burrell), her daughter Judith (Eileen Atkins), Judith's rough but handsome son Seth (Rufus Sewell), and Amos (Ian McKellen), an amateur preacher whose sermonizing seems to release some kind of demons within him. Undaunted by this menagerie, Flora gets to work organizing the household, and she comes to realize that the material for her book is right in front of her.
by Tom Wiener synopsis