Miss Potter dir. by

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI don’t ever remember reading any of Beatrix Potter’s books, but I’m still familiar with them, but for many other people I’m sure they are fond childhood memories. They are after all among the best-selling children’s books of all time.

Although back in the early 1900’s most of the publishers that Miss Potter approached didn’t really see the potential of her stories about rabbits and ducks. It wasn’t until the Warne brothers decided that her book would be perfect for their younger, inexperienced brother that she became a published author. The two elder Warne’s didn’t consider that Potter’s books would make any money, and so it didn’t matter if Norman messed up.

Of course he didn’t mess up, and Beatrix Potter’s books went on to become incredibly successful, and Beatrix and Norman found themselves falling in love. Something that Beatrix’s mother was not at all impressed by. A tradesman in the family! How terrible.

There is nothing all that fantastic about this film; it is however a charming and enjoyable story. The illustrations that occasionally come to life add a lot to the film, but never get in the way of the story. And while the film misses out on a lot that went on in Potter’s life, it still covers quite a bit of ground, and makes everything quite believable.

I was a little annoyed by Zellweger in certain points, but I can’t point out any real reason why, her mannerisms perhaps. However for the most part she does very well in the role, with no trouble with the accent. McGregor’s role is, in a way, quite similar to his character in Moulin Rouge albeit it less melodramatic, and as usual he carries it off with ease.

Despite the amount of trailers for animated films that went on before the screening that I saw, this is not a film for children. It isn’t that there is anything that might be unsuitable for them, rather there is little that might hold their attention. It is a biopic, not a comedy.

In a way it is a little too simple a story, because there is much more to Beatrix Potter than her books, or indeed her buying land in the Lake District to preserve the countryside. She had quite a scientific mind, although because of the attitude towards women at the time she wasn’t taken very seriously. Still, it is a lovely film, not overly sentimental, but perhaps lacking that something special to make it stand out.

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6 Responses

  1. Kristina says:

    I haven't heard too much about this movie over here in Canada, and I haven't seen a SINGLE trailer for it on TV or in the theatres, so that's a bit odd. But I've seen ads in magazines, and I am interested in seeing it. Zellweger annoys me too sometimes… I think it's the way she talks, or the way she tucks her chin down and looks up through those eyes that look like they might be swelling shut or something — there is something there that turns you off her. But I loved her in the Bridget movies, when all that worked for her. Anyway… I'll probably see this when it's out on DVD. Glad you thought it was a good enough movie.

  2. I thought this was better than just good. I thought it was the most grown-up film I've seen in a long time. The temptation in a film like this is to make the characters simple and somewhat childish, but it never went in for quaintness. Beatrix Potter was rather odd but entirely sane and self-aware, and Ewan MacGregor's character was somewhat naive without being a clichéd greenhorn. Also, people spoke and behaved like adults, and people who had heard about irony.

    The sideburns of the father were worth the price of admission alone.

  3. Marg says:

    I'm glad to see a review of this. When I went to the movies a couple of weeks ago I saw the trailer for this film, and was quite surprised because I had not heard anything about this film being made at all!

  4. Fence says:

    And here she has an English accent Kristina, so maybe that is a good omen :)

    The characters may not have been overly simple Mal, but neither were they complex, and the story was quit simple. I think it is just too slight a movie to be anything more than a night's entertainment.

    Hi Marg, if you go see it I hope you enjoy it. The main reason I went was because I'd read an interesting article about Beatrix Potter in a recent paper, and the fact that Apocalyto was sold out.

  5. Carl V. says:

    Once again I have to be jealous of you since this has not made its way here. It will in a few weeks, hopefully. I know the theatre next door to my work has this up as a 'coming soon'. Nice review. I look forward to seeing this. It sounds, from your review, to be just what I was expecting from the film.

  6. Fence says:

    Hope you enjoy if whenever you get to see it Carl. And as it is usually me waiting for films you've already seen I feel no sympathy whatsoever ;)