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Drama based on the true story of Beatrix Potter starring Renée Zellwegger shot on location in London and the beautiful Lake District. The dowdy, fanciful Beatrix Potter is in her thirties and still living with her parents in London who'd like to see her married off. She shows no inclination to marry, despite a stream of young men beating a path to her socialite parents' door to pitch woo. Withdrawn and unusual, Miss Potter (Zellwegger) prefers instead to immerse herself in the world of the animals she draws and writes about, including Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck. She finally puts together enough illustrations to fill a book and Norman, (Ewan McGregor) the man the publisher assigns to the project, quickly falls in love with her. Soon the contrary Miss Potter's life is turned around but, typically, her uppity parents disapprove vociferously of Norman and Beatrix is forced to choose between her family and her great love.
Released to Buy:
23 April 2007
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By Mal Simons, Blockbuster.co.uk
A remarkable film about the extraordinary life of British children’s writer Beatrix Potter; Miss Potter is an absolute diamond of a movie – a perfect picture starring Renee Zellwegger and Ewan McGreggor in their first film together since Down With Love.
Beatrix Potter (Renee Zellwegger) has always dreamt of being a published author. Throughout her childhood, Beatrix would captivate her brother and her family with her elaborate stories featuring rabbits, mice and ducks. Now in her thirties, Beatrix remains unmarried – much to the concern of her parents. Rather than go out for the usual search for a husband, Beatrix has written a book about the adventures of her first animal character ‘Peter Rabbit’ and is seeking to get this published.
Travelling to several London publishers along with a chaperone in the form of her London based housekeeper; Beatrix is unable to find anyone who will take a chance in publishing her work. That is until she finds herself in the office of the ‘Warne Brothers’; two brothers looking to bring their younger brother Norman (Ewan McGreggor) into the family business. Seeking a small project that will occupy their sibling’s time, the brothers agree to publish Beatrix’s book and assign their brother the task of printing and selling Miss Potter’s book to local bookshops.
As his first project, Norman wants to find success in order to prove himself and his abilities. Working closely with Beatrix, the two of them produce an illustrated children’s book to Beatrix’s taste that is truly unlike anything published before. Bright and refreshing, Beatrix’s book finds instant success, selling out in bookshops across the country. It is the start of a very successful collaborative partnership between Beatrix and Norman with Beatrix writing the stories and preparing the initial artwork and Norman finding ways to get this produced to her taste and selling in to the nation’s bookstores.
As Beatrix and Norman work together, they grow closer, Norman introduces her to the rest of the family and Beatrix spends time with both Norman and his sister Millie (Emily Watson). The two of them fall in love, but find that Beatrix’s family are less than pleased to discover that their privileged daughter has fallen for a common tradesman. Her family actively discourage the two from having a relationship.
Set in the early 20th Century, the filmmakers have perfectly conveyed the feel of old London in this wonderful picture – taking great care to maintain the accuracy of the time in every scene. Potter was known as a bit of a shy eccentric – an oddity, an unmarried woman at the age of thirty and the filmmakers have embraced this, showing Beatrix talking to her imaginary friends as she draws them on the page and the mischievous characters play up, running through their world. When Norman comes along, it is clear that Beatrix has found her soul mate but the story doesn’t end there.
Tipped for both BAFTA® and Academy Award® glory, Miss Potter is high class entertainment and recommended viewing due to the sheer strength of the performances and the quality of the writing. Zellwegger especially masters the English accent in flawless performance for which she deserves an Oscar®.
A wonderful film filled with incredible performances, an amazing true story and complimented with magical special effect animations that look and feel like Potter’s originals. This has to be one of the greatest family orientated, romantic dramas that has ever been produced – add this to your list now!
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