Dave and Rachel's movie reviews.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Miss Potter

Year: 2006
Running time: 92 minutes
Certificate: PG
Language: English
Screenplay: Richard Maltby Jr.
Director: Chris Noonan
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Barbara Flynn, Bill Paterson, Lloyd Owen, Anton Lesser, David Bamber

The real star of Miss Potter: The Lake District.
No, this is not a film about Harry’s sister, but instead centres on another famous Potter; Beatrix (Renée Zellweger), creator of some of the most beloved children’s books the world has ever seen - Peter Rabbit & Friends. Set firstly around her struggle to free herself from the marriage designs of her mother Helen (Barbara Flynn) then to get her books (written off by her mother and passed over by most prospective publishers) published, and then her wish to marry a mere ‘tradesman’, Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) when her parents would have her marry someone of more suitable repute. Warne is the younger brother in a family-run publishers who is given Potter's books because his older siblings are so convinced of their limited potential. It’s a pleasant enough tale that keeps the viewer engaged, just, throughout.

Renée Zellweger is every bit as wonderful as you’d expect her to be (it would be a real shame if her turn as Bridget Jones became her most memorable role, because she is capable of so much more), and Ewan McGregor does just fine as the inexperienced publisher willing to take a chance on her books. There is happiness (the books are popular! Yay!), romance, tragedy and moving on (Potter eventually becomes an effective conservationist). It's all delivered with that stereotypical twee Englishness that's the filmic equivilant of having tea and cake under a parasol.
She pretended to consider the artwork, but couldn't take her
mind off that mustache.

However, as easy to watch as Zellweger and McGregor are, they both pale in comparison to a much grander star, and that is the stunning scenery of the UK countryside on offer – it suits the style of the film perfectly and is really a joy to behold. The world that inspired her creations and later her conservation efforts is right there onscreen and it can be genuinely breath-taking.

It doesn’t exactly set the world alight, but fills 90 minutes well enough. If you're bored.

Score: 5/10

Two opposing viewpoints show that opinion is not exactly unanimous on Miss Potter; this review by Lexi declares it to be a movie both adults and children can enjoy. Conversely, Phillip at the Observer  thinks it will appeal to neither children nor adults. I find myself somewhere between the two.