Miss Potter

Miss Potter

Posted by jack_miller | Published 6 months ago

With 4564 ratings

Purchased At: $9

This is a highly entertaining film with an outstanding performance from Renee Zellweger and beautiful cinematography.

The movie presents a fictionalized account of Beatrix Potter's life as the author of the Peter Rabbit stories and other children's fiction. Renee Zellweger portrays Potter and delivers an inspired, engaging, and magical performance. While the majority of the film focuses on Potter's life as an adult, there are frequent flashbacks to her childhood, where she is played by actress Lucy Boynton. Through this interleaved storytelling we learn about Potter's beginnings and development as an illustrator and writer cast against the backdrop of life in Victorian England.

A significant portion of the plotting of the film focuses on Potter's life as single adult woman in the Victorian era. She lives in her parents' home as was normal in that period, and she is usually escorted by an elderly servant when out in public, especially when in the company of young men. Her family does not take her creative interests as a would-be artist or writer very seriously, although her father is more supportive than her mother. Eventually, however, she finds a publisher who is willing to sell her work. Through this she meets a supportive ally and eventual friend in Norman Warne, who is the publisher's third son and is played by Ewan McGregor. The story shifts at this point to their interaction and Potter's growth as a author.

The film has a light-hearted tone throughout most of it, and there are frequent opportunities to showcase Zellweger's comedic talents and charm. McGregor plays an effective counterpoint as a source of both candor and earnest admiration. In particular, however, Zellweger excels at capturing the magical creative quality of Potter's talent and inspiration as an artist and storyteller. This is enhanced by some limited animation of her characters to help show her mind's eye as she captures her imagination onto the page in illustrations and writing. This magical quality is enhanced by a number of countryside scenes with superb cinematography that help shape the tone of the movie and reinforce Potter's way of looking out at the world.

What few faults the film may have I will not express here as the whole of the movie is of such high excellence. Allow yourself to be transported to Potter's world for a while; you will not be disappointed.

- phillip_sanchez

MISS POTTER is a biography of Beatrix Potter, artist and author of a series of fantasy children's books about rabbits, geese, pigs, and hedgehogs. MISS POTTER was directed by Chris Noon, director of the engaging and beautiful movie, BABE, which concerns a pig. MISS POTTER stars Renee Zellweger, Lucy Boynton (as young Beatrix Potter), Ewan McGregor (Potter's publisher and fiance), Barbara Flynn (as Potter's A-hole mother), and Bill Paterson (as Potter's understanding, wise, and flexible father). This is one of the greatest movies that I've seen in the past 50 years, and I watched it three times in the past three days. If you are an amateur artist, or if you are a published author, then you will absolutely adore this movie.

OPENING MINUTES. The movie begins with images of a small wooden box being opened. Inside are artists' pencils. Then, we see a pair of hands sharpening a pencil with a knife. Then, we see a hand pouring water from a glass (for the purpose of water color painting), and then we see a hand reaching for an artist's brush. Then, we see a hand opening up a water color set (just like the kind I used when I was a kid in the 1960s). Finally, at 1 min, 45 seconds into the movie, we see a hand holding a brush and painting streaks of blue on fancy artists' paper.

ZELLWEGER MAKES HER ENTRANCE. At three minutes, Zellweger says, "There's something delicious about writing the first words of a story, you can never be sure of where they will take you." Then, Zellweger explains her quest to find a publisher of her children's book. "I've been selling my drawings for greeting cards for 7 years," she explains during her interview with a publisher. At 5 min, 30 seconds into the movie, the publisher accepts her book. Zellweger is pleased, of course, and the viewer will be treated to an episode where she twists her lips, flexes her lips, and where her lips move in little grimacing expressions. This is how Zellweger expresses pleasure because of the acceptance of her book. Of course, there are many flabby-lipped actresses, such as Zellweger, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, and the abundantly annoying Anne Hathaway (she often uses a very annoying VOCAL FRY when speaking, and her mouth looks like a frightening monster-mouth, such as that of the Joker in the Batman cartoon). But Zellweger is the only flabby-lipped actress to use her own lips as a tool for expressing emotions. Truly, Zellweger exploits her lips, to good effect, as an organ of expression just as ordinary actors use their hands and eyes to communicate various emotions.

BEATRIX POTTER GETS FLACK FROM PARENTS. At 8 1/2 minutes into the movie, Zellweger is back home (she lives with her parents, even though she's in her early 30s). The movie shows Potter's mother, who has a condescending attitude towards Potter, which continues to the very end of the story. At 9 min, 50 sec, begins the first of several flashbacks, where we see Beatrix Potter as a child. We see excellent sketches of rabbits and other animals, made by the 8-year old Potter. In this first flashback, Potter's father tells the 8-year old girl that her job is to get married and become a homemaker. He says, "something suitable to the young lady who will soon grow up and run a fine home, just like her mother." At 13 minutes into the movie, the flashback concludes, and Zellweger gets a visit at her home from the youngest of the three brothers. Then, the viewer is treated with dialogue about the technical features of the book-printing procedures. Potter's parents give her flack for wanting to visit the printing house, and she confronts them saying, "I see absolutely no reason why an artist shouldn't visit her printer." At 17 minutes, we see a flashback where Potter at age 10 is sketching in her garden, while her brother plays croquet. We see a real hedgehog and a real rabbit meandering in the garden, and Potter and her brother chase the rabbit. At 19 min, 30 seconds, the mother and father both pester the ten year old Beatrix Potter, regarding their expectations that she will some day get married. But the ten year old insists that she not get married. The mother says, "Really Beatrix, what young man is ever going to marry a girl with a face full of mud?" (Beatrix has mud on her dress and face, from chasing the rabbit in the garden.) "Well, I shan't marry it doesn't matter," insists the 10-year old Potter. "Of course you shall marry, all girls marry," says her arrogant and bullying mother. "I did, your grandmother did . . ." continues the arrogant mother. "Well I shan't, I shall draw," insists the ten year old Potter. "Those silly drawings, who will love you," says the A-hole mother, derisively. "My art and my animals, I don't need more love than that," insists the 10 year old Potter.

PRINTING PRESSES. At 21 minutes, we are back at the publisher, and Zellweger is showing her drawings for her Peter Rabbit book. The viewer is treated to some excellent video of printing presses. Zellweger complains about the first color print (this scene occurs in the same room as the printing presses). She complains, "It's muddy." then, the printer adjusts the color to make it lighter. Eventually a love relationship develops between Zellweger and the youngest of the three brothers (he was assigned to her project).

SISTER OF THE THREE PUBLISHER BROTHERS. At 24 minutes into the movie, a sister ("Millie") enters the plot, and she likes Zellweger and exclaims, "I have decided that you and I are going to be friends . . . I warn you, I am prepared to like you very much." The sister and adult Beatrix Potter share the view that there is nothing shameful about a woman staying single. The bit of dialogue that goes, "I warn you, I am prepared to like you very much" struck me as very unusual and clever.

UNATTRACTIVE GEEK EPISODE. At 27 minutes comes an amusing part, where Zellweger's mother reminds her that she had been introduced to several appropriate men of the same social class as Potter's parents. What is amusing, is that we are shown flashbacks of each of the potential husbands (suitors), and they are each disclosed as being an unattractive and disgusting geek. At 30 minutes, another flashback is shown, where the girl Beatrix Potter explains about a stupid duck, and we see her duck drawings. This flashback is part of the main plot where adult Beatrix Potter is showing her publisher her next book, which concerns a duck, and which is called Jemima Puddle Duck.

CONCLUSION. I don't want to give away too much, and so I'm not writing any more. The script and dialogue in this movie, from start to finish, is stunningly clever, unique, and attractive. How I love this movie. The movie is just as suitable for adults as it is for children. Also, there are no guns, no bad words, and no concupiscence. Actually, the movie continually invokes concupiscence, because in all of the scenes where adult Beatrix Potter is in the presence of the young publisher brother, an elderly lady (apparently a servant hired by Potter's parents to be a chaperone) is following close behind.

- jordan_parker

This movie is honestly probably on point to the actually facts of Beatrix Potter's life and how Peter Rabbit became a bestselling children's book around the world. I find it entertaining, sad, happy, and every single emotion when watching this movie. I enjoy movies about real people's lives (particularly authors) and this one definitely hit hard for me. What I also like about the film is the animations (yes there are a few animations) when you look at B.Potter's drawings, watercolor paintings of her characters in the books. It gives a sense of dimensional surreal fantasy but yet you are still in reality which I find very pleasant.

5/5 Stars from me.

- kristopher_kim

This is a delightful movie that shows the most beautiful scenery of the English/Scotish country, the grounds where they filmed it are like postcards. It's about the life of the great Helen Beatrix Potter, author of the famous Tale of Peter Rabbit & many others, she was such a prolific author & illustrator & her art lives forever so this movie it gives viewers the chance to have a little of more of a visual idea of what her life was about & where she lived & got inspired. Would highly recommend to any Potter fan & others.

- messiah_ross

When I was boy I would draw characters from Peanuts in my notebook: Snoopy, Linus, Charlie Brown, Lucy, Schroeder and others. At first I copied them from the Sunday funnies page, but as my expertise grew their forms became mine. The copying was finished and they entered my own imagination, free from their original source.

I thought about this while watching Peter Rabbit, Jeremy Fisher and Jemima Puddle-Duck dance on the notebook pages of Beatrix Potter. How colourful and delightful they look. How sweet their forms are. And how wide-eyed and happy Beatrix seems. She talks to them tenderly and we see how dearly she loves them. All of us who were children remember this feeling. The world of the imagination was our domain. In it we were free and made the world as beautiful as we wanted it to be. It became our refuge and secret world. Which is why we rarely left it. The adults could have their world. We had ours.

The magic in all this remains with some. It remained with Beatrix Potter throughout her life. She became a woman but did not lose her girlhood. Her books were a memory of what she felt as a child, and as an adult she went back, time and again, to that emotional and imaginative world she once inhabited. Which is why the books are so fresh and timeless, as magic never ends unless one gives up on it.

Her parents worried for her. She spent too much time alone in her room or in the garden. It wasn't normal for a child, a teenager, a young woman to be so solitary. She needed to mix more, meet others, develop a social life. Otherwise what would she become if not a lonely old maid? Her parents loved her but didn't understand her. They judged her by their standards, the social standards of their day, not by her needs as a person. They didn't know she was extraordinary. They saw childish drawings on the page, not the mind of an artist who combined both beauty and ecology to transform the world into a garden.

We know how important that garden is nowadays. We feel what happens when the chain saws and bulldozers remove it from our lives and consciousness. Beatrix always knew its importance and celebrated it through the adventures and escapades of her delightful characters.

When she reached the age of 20 her parents pressured her to find a marriage partner. A clutch of potential suitors paraded past her for inspection and consideration. None would do. None were suitable. None could understand and love her. She told her parents this and they became exasperated. They didn't know what to do with her.

No matter. She had other things to think about. Her characters had lingered in her private world too long. Now she wanted to share them with others if she could. She was shy and timid about the thought of publishing but she built up her courage, wrote letters, met publishers. Most were amused by her, by the thought that a young woman could still live and think like a little girl. But she was undaunted. She knew her worth and that of her characters. She knew they had fabulous stories to tell about their lives.

She was right and finally one publisher agreed with this assessment. He recognized the potential in her art. He saw the bigger picture.

She fell in love with the man who saw her worth, who loved her for who she was. He was the brother of her publisher. Her characters delighted him, and so did she. He proposed to her and she accepted. She astonished and delighted her parents with this news. So their child was normal after all. She could love a man and accept him as her husband. What a load this was off her mother's mind.

But he died. That's how incredibly cruel life can seem. The one man who loved her and whom she loved perished. He died of leukemia before they could marry.

Beatrix took refuge thereafter in her art, characters and books. She also found peace in nature, particularly in the Lake District, that wondrous part of England she loved so well. Her family had been visiting it for years on holiday from their home in London. Now she made a momentous decision: she would quit London and move to the Lakes. No, her parents said. Yes, Beatrix said. She was a child no more. She had her own income and independence. She even had fame, as her books had given her this. She would use this, this fame and influence, to help preserve the beauty of the Lake District. From Hill Top Farm, the sheep farm she bought near Windermere, she became a conservationist. She also married a local farmer.

If her parents never quite fully understood her, upright Victorians as they were, the world did. She has never stopped being loved as the person who gave the world Peter Rabbit, Miss Moppet and Tom Kitten, and when you watch this marvelous film you appreciate her and what she stood for. The world needs more heart of the sort Beatrix Potter had. She is a treasure to all who love children, art, beauty and nature.

- mercy_peterson

This is a fabulous portrayal of Beatrix Potter. Everything about this film is wonderful. The way it has been made and the stunning Lake District some of it shown. This is beautifully made. All the actors take their jobs quite seriously. Watch as BP's painting's come to life. If you like Beatrix Potter you will love this film. I will not tell you too much. Suffice to say, this film is brilliant. Hill top is also shown. I went there some year's back. It's a wonderful film to watch. PC. 04. 08. 2018.

- andrew_flores

(Watched as a rental - but I'll now be buying it.)

Renée Zellweger's enchanting performance is a real treat in her endearing portrayal of children's author Beatrix Potter.

A good complement to the movie Enid, by the way, the story of Noddy author Enid Blyton starring Helena Bonham-Carter,

Miss Potter is the feel-good movie to go to bed on though - Enid may give you, er... nightmares!

- kynlee_turner

I loved the film, it was old fashioned and yet modern as well and while I learned there were some historical inaccuracies it didn't detract from my enjoyment. Didn't realise that Miss Potter bought and donated to the public such a large piece of the Lake District.

- zion_ramirez

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