I saw Miss Potter a couple of weeks ago at a sneak preview and it opens tomorrow, so I thought I should say something about it. The movie is about Beatrix Potter, the children’s author.
Before the movie started, I knew absolutely NOTHING about Beatrix Potter. Well, I knew that she wrote children’s books, but I couldn’t have told you which books if you’d held a gun to my head. As far as how much I knew about her life, she could have been a lesbian, living in Miami, in the 1960’s, is about how ignorant I was.
Well, Miss Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) wasn’t a lesbian, she lived in London and later, northwest England, and her most famous creation, a character I’d actually heard of but didn’t equate with her, was Peter Rabbit.
This is a small movie, not one for big hype and bombastic promotion. It’s sweet, gentle, quiet, moving and delightful. I’ve done a lot of reading about BP since I saw the movie and from what I can tell, the movie was VERY accurate. I’d be interested to hear from a Beatrix Potter fan and what they think after they see the movie (or I can answer questions). It’s a straight-ahead biopic and definitely a chick flick, but men with the right mindset will probably like the movie too. My husband, who missed the screening, wants to see it and I know he’ll like it. Children might get bored because only a fraction of the film is devoted to her creations (but those bits are imaginative and wonderous, because the characters are her friends and they come alive on the page).
While in retrospect I would have preferred Kate Winslet in the role, Renee Zelwegger does a good enough job. She made me like the character and feel for her in good times and bad. Beatrix Potter was an upper class spinster who had no drama in her life (until one specific event) and who wrote and drew animal characters. She lived a long, wealthy life and never had a hint of scandal touch her. One might wonder how that could NOT be boring as hell for a biopic, but I didn’t find it boring for one second. I salute the filmmakers for not adding anything extra just to add more drama.
Everything about the movie is done very well, the script, acting, art direction, set decoration, cinematography (oh the scenery of the Lake District is breathtaking!), special effects, costumes and let me not forget Ewan McGregor. He’s such a doll! For those who loved Ewan’s character in Moulin Rouge! (sweet, enthusiastic, endearing) this is another performance you’ll love.
Highly recommended for those who think they might like such a movie. Cynical folks should probably go see something else.