Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Movie Review: Miss Potter

Miss Potter is a warm-hearted biopic of Beatrix Potter (Rene Zellweger), the author of the best-selling children's stories about Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-duck, and others. We follow her story from childhood where she shows talent for drawing and storytelling, through her frustrations with late 19th century-early 20th century British social mores, through her love relationship with her publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor), and her ultimate purchase of many acres of beautiful farmland in the Lakes District where she finally marries William Heelis, a childhood acquaintance.

Beatrix Potter was a woman ahead of her time in many respects. She dreaded the fate of most women of that era - arranged marriage, social conformity, submissive and dependent female roles, class snobbery. She wanted none of it and, through her publishing and her friendship with Norman Warne and his sister, Millie Warne (Emily Watson), she struggles against all that is expected of her by her parents to become a wealthy and very successful author.

For me, Rene Zellweger was a poor choice for Beatrix Potter. She just never came across as authentic to me and appeared to find the role difficult. The rest of the cast is excellent. It's a simple story told beautifully. In some parts of the movie, Beatrix's characters are animated and interact with her to convey how intensely "real" these characters were for her. The scenery is absolutely stunning and beautifully photographed.

This is an enjoyable, lovely film that will leave you with a nice feeling and some insights into the character of a much-loved children's author.

My Rating: ***1/2 (out of 5)

Positive Review

'In every way, Miss Potter is a very beautiful thing.' - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle

Negative Review

'Miss Potter is a grave disappointment, because it never listens out for that note. It is a soft, woolly film about a smart, unsentimental woman who did constant battle with her frustrations.' - Anthony Lane/The New Yorker

Content Advice

Brief mild language


No comments:

Post a Comment