Film review: Miss Potter (2006), directed by Chris Noonan
tl;dr: It’s sugar, not a lot of spice, but all things nice.
Miss Potter is nothing to do with Harry Potter’s daughter, but everything to do with Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), the creator of Peter Rabbit and his friends.
Beatrix Potter (Renée Zellweger) is a young lady who has always been very keen on drawing images of animals. She’s so connected to her drawings that she thinks of the animal characters as her friends, and occasionally, they come alive and jump off the page quite literally.
She’s not terribly keen on things young ladies of the day should be keen on – read: finding a good husband – so her parents (Barbara Flynn and Bill Paterson) are somewhat perturbed. Instead, Beatrix wants to publish a book, which is a novel idea, because who have ever heard about a book for children, with little stories about animals? It’s ridiculous. Who’d ever read such a thing?
Rookie publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) is put on the project much as a joke from his seniors, but as luck would have it, Miss Potter’s silly drawings for children are a huge success! If only her love life was the same …
Also starring Emily Watson as Millie Warne, Phyllida Law as Mrs Warne, and Lloyd Owen as William Heelis.
I can’t say that I grew up with Beatrix Potter’s books, because I grew up with Elsa Beskow’s books instead, and they’re not the same. Still, I love the little animations that they show in this film, because all the little rabbits and whatnots are really cute.
Why Renée Zellweger was cast here, I don’t honestly know. Not saying she’s bad, I just think it’s an odd choice. It’s even more odd because the character she plays at times appears to be completely crackers. Sure authors may see their characters as “alive”, but … not to the point of imagining they actually exist.
Ewan McGregor is a sweetheart, as always, and Miss Potter is a nice piece of period drama. As I had no other knowledge of Beatrix Potter other than “the creator of Peter Rabbit”, the insight into her life was interesting. She struggled against the conventions of the time to become a published author, and she got there. Good for her!
How her romantic life panned out? Read and find out. You might want to bring some kitchen roll.
3.7 out of 5 bunnies.