To be honest I didn’t really want to watch Miss Potter – I had requested it mainly for my wife. A period drama about an eccentric children’s author and illustrator wasn’t going to have me on the edge of my seat for the evening, no, it would probably send me to sleep.
But early on in the movie, a painting of Peter Rabbit winked at me, and from that point on I was enchanted. It’s here that the strength of Miss Potter lies, in the filmmakers ability to easily allow the viewer to share Beatrix Potter’s vivid imagination. You see to Beatrix her pictures, the characters she invented were every bit as real as the people she had to endure in real life.
Miss-understood by her mother, and encouraged by her father, Beatrix Potter was destined to spend most of her life misunderstood by her own family. Fortunately she found a publisher who instantly saw the potential of her stories and illustrations, and rather than turn them into mindless copies of other children’s books, worked with Beatrix to create something special in her first book, and thus set the benchmark for all the other books she would create.
But even as fame and fortune found her, as did love, her mother never saw past her own prejudices to see what a remarkable talent her daughter had.
Through trial and tribulation, Beatrix Potter never let go of her own private world and allowed that world to influence every decision she made, which in the end lead her to leave a great legacy to the British people through both her books and her generosity.
Renee Zellweger excels as an eccentric Potter, taking to the role with an infectious passion, that along with the superbly animated insights to her creativity has created a movie that will leave you breathless.
As a story for older children (younger children will probably bore form it after a while) it excels in encouraging the imagination, and should be ample to fill their minds with endless possibilities.
A beautifully filmed fairytale based on reality.
Food for thought
It’s easy to dismiss people without getting to know them, but in doing so we may be missing out on something wonderful that hasn’t been given the chance to bloom. It pays to constantly remind ourselves that everyone we meet has been made in the image of God and therefore are worthy of our total attention.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: G – Suitable for General Audiences.
Duration: 88 mins.
Genre: Drama, Biography.
Actors: Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Renee Zellweger, Lloyd Owen.
Director: Chris Noonan.
Release Date: Available Now.