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Decemeber 2006


by Krista Vitola


Distributor: MGM, The Weinstein Company
Director: Chris Noonan
Producers: David Kirschner, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Corey Sienega, David Thwaites
Screenwriter: Richard Maltby, Jr.
Cast: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Jane How





We sometimes forget that charming stories can be told even if they’re not holiday chick flicks, children’s animated films or yes, even those high impact action films that allows us a few compassionate moments when the hot action figure finally makes the right decision. But, unlike these films, Miss Potter reenacts the life of a Ms. Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved series of books known as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Friends. The film chooses to look at the life behind the author and how she set her mark in the world, against many odds, to be a headstrong artist and writer of her day. And yes of course, Miss Potter was constantly reminded of the social upheaval she was causing in her family by not being married and entertaining like her mother. Miss Potter’s life was a pleasant parallel to the stories she came up with, truly engaging herself with the painted characters in her tales (whom she actually spoke to in the film) and directing their tales of mischief, courage, warmth, and yes even, tragedy (as she does experience one extremely disheartening event in her lifetime) through her classic animal adventures.

The landscaping throughout the film is breathtaking, as director Chris Noonan shot most of film in the UK, allowing Miss Potter’s narration to embed itself within the world around her, making her life just as much of a tale as the ones she wrote. Renee Zellweger (Miss Potter) did a modest job of playing this creatively divine woman, but it was hard not to see a little bit of Bridget Jones from time to time, maybe it was the accent. Emily Watson played a charming role as one of Miss Potter’s good friends as did Ewan McGregor as her almost finance.

What is truly charming about Miss Potter is the being of Miss Beatrix Potter herself, her delightful personality, wit, and most of all creative genius that had sparked the hearts and minds of many around her and still do to this day. As viewed in the opening scene of the film, Miss Potter’s water colored tales seem to tell readers that the beauty painted all around us can be seen, and even transformed, if we take the time to set foot into our imaginations.