Miss Potter Chris Noonan

Dear Chris Noonan; I hate to be the one to tell you this but Beatrix Potter (an author and illustrator, most famous for Peter Rabbit) was not noted for her restless world of "imagination.” She was more along the lines of clever whimsy, a skilful rendering of dainty gentleness that served a different function. But this, of course, has not stopped you from disrespecting her real achievement and hiding the fact under falsely grandiose claims, all the while failing to live up to them on your end.

It would help, of course, if you had someone credible playing Miss Potter, because Renee Zellweger fails at every turn to suggest human behaviour no matter how hard she scrunches up her face like a rabbit. It might also help to have someone other than Richard Maltby, Jr. penning your script, as he also fails to suggest actual humans interacting, with the most obvious expository dialogue. But what hurts most is that you’ve taken the most interesting thing about her life — her refusal to say die even as she fails to marry and thus exposes herself to ridicule — and made it seem about as traumatic as stubbing one’s toe.

Everything is so dressed-up and prissy in that "trolling for Oscars” way that it muffles the real pain of the protagonists, and even manages to make the romance between her and publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) seem as intriguing as dolls interacting at a child’s tea party.

This isn’t a movie that you or anyone else desperately had to make; it’s a career opportunity looking to hook dull-witted bourgeoisies with more money than sense. And it means that it’s back to the drawing board for you, my friend.

(Alliance Atlantis)