Miss Potter

Directed by Chris Noonan

> > Aug 2007

Miss Potter - Directed by Chris Noonan
By Cam LindsayAuthors can make for interesting biopic subjects even if they didn’t lead lives as colourful as, say, W.S. Burroughs or Jack Kerouac (though I can’t say I’m anticipating the day they make J.K. Rowling’s). Shadowlands painted a touching portrait of C.S. Lewis’s later life, while Finding Neverland unlocked the magic of J.M. Barrie’s imagination. Miss Potter strives to do the same with Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit. Renee Zellweger stars as Potter, the self-sufficient single daughter of a wealthy family and a dreamer who can’t shake her passion to write and illustrate children’s books. Devoted to her craft, Beatrix finds an interested publisher and begins her career as a novelist. When Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) is assigned to work alongside her and oversee the book, the pair fall in love but prolong their relations until they can appease her conservative parents. Of course, tragedy strikes, which completely changes Beatrix’s aspirations to start a new life but she gets through it with a little help from a real estate agent and her fluffy friends. If it sounds like I’m being facetious, well, that’s only half true. Miss Potter’s lifelessness is an astonishing feat, especially considering that the man who directed it brought us the mighty Babe. Zellwegger is restrained and painfully drab, and even though she’s paired up with a loveable actor like McGregor — who is completely wasted — the couple have zero chemistry and turn in one of the driest, most extraneous romances a screen has ever exhibited. The extras don’t fair any better. Noonan’s commentary only adds to the tedium and the featurettes move along at a watching paint dry pace. "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter” examines the story of Potter’s best-selling creation, while "The Making of A Real-Life Fairy Tale” basically retells the film’s plot with real-life accounts from historians and archived photos. Plus: music video.
(Alliance Atlantis)
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