Movie Review: ‘Miss Potter’ an affectionate tale of Beatrix Potter

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A look at famed children´s author Beatrix Potter, Chris Noonan´s Miss Potter is a smooth and affectionate tale though it´s never a definitive portrait of its subject.

Film covers a brief portion of Potter´s life from 1902-06, from her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit´ produced with Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) to her independence from mother and father and country life as an unlikely environmentalist.

Inevitable tragedy will likely come as a shock to those who aren´t familiar with Potter´s life; the first half of the film is so saccharine we can´t imagine anything bad could possibly happen.

Zellweger is affecting but never quite disappears into the role of Potter; it´s a fine performance, but the actress seems to overshadow her role. The rest of the cast is excellent, particularly McGregor, Emily Watson as his sister and Potter´s friend, and Bill Paterson as Potter´s father.

It´s all entertaining on a Hollywood biopic scale, moving while never feeling manipulative, and will leave many reaching for tissues by the end.

But the look at Beatrix Potter and her work isn´t as in-depth as one might hope for (a short running time doesn´t help), and the film never quite gets across just how important her books have become.

Miss Potter

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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