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Miss Potter [2006] - 6.98

Miss Potter walks that fine line between charming and cloying with pleasing sure-footedness. Apple-cheeked Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones' Diary) once again slips into a British accent to play writer/illustrator Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit. Potter, born into wealth, fought the disapproval of her high society mother to do something as crass as publish a book... and to fall in love with her publisher, Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor, previously teamed with Zellweger in Down With Love). Unfortunately, their love runs into something worse than upper-class stuffiness. Miss Potter skips through Potter's life a bit too briskly at times, but Zellweger's thankfully restrained performance, McGregor's infinite charm, and some beautiful shots of the English landscape keep the movie grounded and engaging. Also featuring a crackling supporting performance by Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) as Warne's sister Millie. --Bret Fetzer

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.0):

Rating: 3:
Painting by numbers : This is a nice film. It is perfect to watch on a sunday afternoon for a bit of feel good atmosphere. However,they try to cram Beatrix Potter's entire life into an hour and a half and as a consequence you are left with a feeling of just rushing through and skimming the surface. I was left entirely unmoved and i was slightly disappointed because Beatrix Potter actually did have an interesting life and it could have made a very good film. Beatrix's relationship with her parents, as well as her relationship with Mr Warne are all areas that could have been developed and would have made a greater emotional impact had the film been longer. It all feels rushed and in fact the actual 'happy ending' is given in a sentence that appears on screen at the end of the film.
Its not a film i would want to watch twice. I get the impression that the director had a list of events and was ticking them off one by one. If you know nothing about her life then it is mildly enjoyable, if you know about her already then i wouldn't bother, wait to watch it on TV

Rating: 2:
Bridget Jones plays Beatrix Potter : I had always thought Renee Zellweger could act, but I am beginning to think she has one persona and brings it to every role. Certainly the person playing Miss Potter is this dreadful film was Bridget Jones, complete with facial tics, attitude and accent. Bits of it are pseudo-Disney - the drawings that come alive - and there is virtually no dramatic tension. The story limps along, and the other, normally excellent actors, including Ewan McGregor do their best. Lloyd Owen was good, and the Lakes shone as always. But I was left with a feeling of profound relief that I had only spent a couple of pounds hiring this film from Amazon, rather than going to the cinema or buying it on DVD. Anyone who has read anything on Beatrix Potter will realise that while she did oppose her parents, it is extremely unlikely she did so with the 21st century stroppiness that Zellweger displayed.

Rating: 4:
cute : I really enjoyed this movie but couldn't help comparing it to Finding Neverland and I'm afraid to say it just doesn't live up (hence the 4 stars). Both tell the story of two novelists who went on to produce timeless classics but Miss Potter seems more of a light, on the surface view of her life and I didn't find myself completely absorbed by the characters and story.
Still, good easy to watch entertainment with some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.

Rating: 5:
An excellent film in every respect : Some reveiwers are probably not resident on planet earth. Of course her English sounds twee, this is a long time ago! How they got the idea that the film did not acknowledge her conservation work properly I don't know and where could it be other than at the end of the film? The film has been very well written, designed and acted. She is portrayed as a typical woman of her time but who has an inner strength and stubborn streak that puts her at odds with her family and society generally. The story is romantic, informative, beautiful and there is little, if anything, to fault it in any respect. The use of animation is well justified (she was a little eccentric and talked to her characters)and done to just the degree that it complements the period drama without detracting from it. They also wisely did not have the characters talking, just moving a bit. The scenery is breathtaking and the feel of a bygone era recreated with loving detail. One of the best films we've seen (and we watch a lot of films of many different genres). Maybe some people need explosions and car chases in all their films. Otherwise I can't see why anyone would give this less than 5 stars ... and five only because that's the most stars you can give!

Rating: 1:
Excruciatingly twee : I dont know what other reviewers saw in this film but I couldnt stand it. Zellweger cannot act and her english accent (as in Bridget Jones) is just bizarre. While there is clearly an interesting story to be told about the life of Beatrix Potter this film doesnt do it justice at all. She comes across as a some kind of simpering idiot, who lives in a horribly twee fantasy world where she talks to imaginary animals!
The film portratyed her as a completely shallow and vacuous toff, and her important conservation work was just tacked on to the end of the film and portrayed as being the whim of someone with more money than she knew what to do with.
This is the worst film I have seen for a long time. Beatrix Potter deserves so much better than this.

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