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Top Customer Reviews
Now, a century later, "Miss Potter" (directed by Chris Noonan, starring Rene Zellweger) has a new story to tell, and quite a fairy tale it is, too, with all the delightful magic of one of Beatrix Potter's own stories: winsome characters, luscious settings, strong period details. I was charmed by this film (viewed on DVD, with all the extras), and spent an enchanted evening watching it. As a movie, it is fine family entertainment--something that's hard to come by, these days.
But the film has been widely billed as a biopic, and if you were looking for a story that's true to Beatrix's life, this one might mislead you. Richard Maltby (who wrote the script and spent some 10 years trying to get it produced) and Chris Noonan have teamed up to give us a lovely fairy tale, but one that is based on some fairly fundamental misrepresentations of Beatrix's real life.
Take that elaborate Christmas party, for instance, in a festooned Potter mansion. This dramatically pivotal event could never have happened, for Rupert and Helen Potter were Dissenters who did not celebrate Christmas--much to Beatrix's disappointment, as a child longing for a tree and the trimmings. (In life, both the Potters seem to have been much more dour people than their on-screen representations.)
Or take those childhood visits to the Lake Districts, which never happened either. The Potters holidayed in Scotland until Beatrix was 16. Which means that she could not have met Willie Heelis, who was nearly five years younger than Beatrix, anyway (not older, as the film portrays him).Read more ›
With only some shame I have to admit to knowing very little about Beatrix Potter. To inject some autobiography, I was not read Potter as a child and though after my divorce I raised my daughter, reading to her constantly, there was an agreement that on her periodic visits to her mother she would be allowed to read her Beatrix Potter (because of a Potter obsession by her own godmother) and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read my daughter every other children's' writer, but was forbidden to dip into either of those. So I saw this biopic knowing next to nothing about her. The film seemed to me to give a good impression of who she was. She emerges in the film as a sort of timid feminist, not a activist, but quietly insisting on taking her own path. Though there are flashbacks to her childhood and the final quarter of the film focuses on her moving to the Lake District, most of the film deals with the period of partnership and eventually romance between her and her publisher, Norman Warne. One suspects that of necessity a great deal is left out, but as it exists it is compelling.Read more ›
See it, and you too will likely be spreading the word with an almost missionary zeal. I haven't enjoyed a film this much in 20 years!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I adore this movie for both cultural and sentimental reasons. My mom told me about it as it was her favorite movie and I saw it with her for the first time about a month before she... Read morePublished 2 days ago by E.M.S.
Interesting story about how a woman's art transforms her life. I wish there were more scenes like in the beginning with the wet washes of paint and more close ups of the actual... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Buttercup Trish
Very well played! Good representation of historical fact, plus just a fun movie to watch.Published 13 days ago by Bo Bowman