Miss Potter (2006)

Miss Potter (2006)
  • Time: 92 min
  • Genre: Biography, Drama
  • Director: Chris Noonan
  • Cast: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson


Thirty years old and single, Beatrix Potter lives in London with her social-climbing parents, who are exasperated that she has turned down any number of eligible young men. Her only real friends are the animals which since childhood she has lovingly drawn and made up stories about. She finally succeeds in selling a book of the stories, and it becomes Norman Warne’s first project. He quickly falls in love with both the book and Beatrix and together they carefully arrange publication. This proves the first of many successes, offering her the possibility of escaping from both her parents’ way of life and London.

One comment

  • Director Chris Noonan took an 11 year hiatus from film directing in between his big hit “Babe” and this film, which is a bio-picture about Beatrix Potter, the author of the “Peter Rabbit” children’s books. While I’m not sure what in this script he found so particularly compelling as to come out of his semi-retirement, I did enjoy the experience of watching the film. It’s a pleasant experience, despite many dark or somber aspects of the story.

    I’ve always liked Renee Zellweger ever since I saw her in the Robert Howard bio-pic “The Whole Wide World”, and I had some hopes that this would be a similar movie. It’s not as great as “WWW”, but it definitely features a return to form by Zellweger in the title role as Miss Potter. Ewan McGregor, who seems to be in every movie I watch these days, is always a lot of fun and it was very interesting to see him play sort of an unassuming and deferential character as opposed to the action hero types he’s played of late. Unfortunately the movie never recovers from his character’s death, and really does not have any new emotional high points to go after. Emily Watson turns in the third notable performance in the film as McGregor’s brother and Miss Potter’s confidante.

    On the whole, it’s a good movie but one which lacks some focus. There’s not enough preparation in the early parts of the movie for the environmental theme that emerges at the end. The whole structure of the movie is a bit too obvious. I didn’t know much about Beatrix Potter’s life, but it was easy to guess that they would have to kill off her fiancé’s character. In some respects like this one, the film feels much too similar to “Finding Neverland” and other recent literary biopics (including “The Whole Wide World”, matter of fact). But there’s no way to get around that really without making a totally different movie, so I’m laying blame very lightly here. I actually enjoyed the movie a lot more than “Neverland” anyway.

    I would say this is a very good movie if you’re in the mood for a period piece, kind of a weepie-romance, but it’s not the type of thing that I would rush out to watch over and over again because most of its charms are pretty superficial. As in the case of the same director’s “Babe”, however, they are superficial charms that are quite hard to resist.

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