Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Miss Potter (2006)

I think I remember seeing advertisements for Miss Potter... No, I'm nearly certain! But since it was before I got into period dramas, I hadn't taken much notice and quite forgot about it (for shame!). Recently (and by recently I mean less than a year), I've seen other blogs post about Miss Potter. And about a week or so ago, watched the trailer, showed it to my mom, and then next thing I knew, we had it on DVD.

DVD Box Art
30 and unmarried, Beatrix Potter has always enjoyed drawing pictures of animals and creating children's stories. She tries to get her book The Tale of Peter Rabbit published: the publishers, thinking her book will not sell well, pass off her book on their brother, Norman Warne. Beatrix and Norman become very good friends and Beatrix's book is published, and love grows between Beatrix and Norman.

There were a couple of actors and actresses you may recognize from other period dramas. Bill Paterson (Rupert Potter) was in Little Dorrit, Wives and Daughters, and Amazing Grace. David Bamber (Fruing Warne) was in Pride and Prejudice and was briefly in The King's Speech. Barbara Flynn (Helen Potter) was in The Barchester Chronicles, Wives and Daughters, He Knew He Was Right, and Cranford. Ewan McGregor (Norman Warne) was in the 1996 movie of Emma. Lucy Boynton (Young Beatrix Potter) was in the 2008 miniseries of Sense and Sensibility. And Phyllidia Law (Mrs. Warne) is known for being the mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson and was Mrs. Bates in the 1996 movie of Emma.

Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter

Renee Zellweger was wonderful as Beatrix Potter. In Miss Potter, Beatrix is portrayed as a spunky, creative woman of 30 who is passionate about her artwork and stories. Beatrix doesn't care for life in the city and prefers the country home that her family stays at during the summer. Her mother tried to create matches for her to men that were high in society but were oafish. Because of her refusing her mother's matches, Beatrix is constantly at odds with her mother, who doesn't recognize Beatrix's talent as an author and illustrator; her father, however, encourages Beatrix's talents. Unmarried, Beatrix tries to make a living selling children's stories. It was kind of cute how she would imagine her drawings coming to life. I was worried that the filmmakers would overdo it, but I am very glad to say that they didn't! Lucy Boynton also did a good job as a young Beatrix. The story does go a little bit back and forth between the "present" and the past when Beatrix was a child, but it did not get confusing like some movies can be with time changes.

Beatrix Potter with Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor), who is
reviewing The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Ewan McGregor was great as Norman Warne. I was rooting for him and Beatrix for nearly the whole movie. Spoiler I was so sad when he died! It was difficult to hold back tears! Though I happened to read that in real life he died before marrying Beatrix, there was still that part of me that wanted them to get married. End of Spoiler On a side note, Ewan McGregor looked better in here than he did as Frank Churchill in Emma (finally! He got rid of the long hair!). But did anyone notice how he doesn't have a mustache on the DVD box? I hadn't noticed until I read about it online.

Barbara Flynn does another great job as Mrs. Potter. Sure, she wasn't a great character since she was always putting Beatrix down about her writing, but I still think that Barbara Flynn did a good job. There was something of humor in some of her lines ("I wish you wouldn't bring tradespeople into the house. They carry dust."). Spoiler I was a bit mad at her for disapproving of Norman! End of Spoiler Bill Paterson played a quiet Mr. Potter, but he was likable Spoiler (Though he didn't approve of Norman either...) End of Spoiler.

The Potter family (minus Bertram Potter).
Pictured is Mrs. Potter, Mr. Potter,
and a young Beatrix.

You get a wide range of nice scenery. Scenes sometimes move back and forth between the city and the country, but both are very nice. The second half of the movie focuses more on the countryside Spoiler since Beatrix moves to the country after the death of Norman. With her fortune made from selling children's books, she begins to buy farmland to preserve the countryside. She spends much of her time on this farmland drawing and taking care of her property. End of Spoiler

I enjoyed the costuming. I've only started to watch period dramas with Edwardian fashions, so I was really interested in the costuming. Beatrix had some nice outfits (though one got dirty with ink!). Mrs. Potter had some intersting costumes also: hers were fancier than Beatrix's due to her social climbing nature, but they still looked nice.

There is some nice music in Miss Potter. Some of the songs were based on a music box that Beatrix showed Norman, which was a nice song. If you are interested, Amazon does have the CD for Miss Potter.

Overall: 4.5/5
I highly recommend this movie for all ages! It is rated PG, but aside from a couple of swear words, there wasn't anything bad in it: if it wasn't for one swear word (at least there was only one I could remember), it could have been G. It was rather cute and sweet! There are some sad parts in there (I did have a difficult time holding back tears), but it all turns out okay in the end! There are a number of good lines from this movie, so it's definitely quotable!

Miss Potter is available on DVD. It is rated PG for brief mild language. It runs for 92 minutes.


  1. I love this film!
    And I agree, Ewan looks far better in this than Emma, that hair, eeew =)

  2. Yeah! It doesn't even look like the same person on the front cover! Is it still the same guy? He looks way different without the mustache! haha!

    I'm glad you liked this movie. I like it too. =) Millie is funny. tehe

  3. One of my all time favorites! If I am in the mood for a good movie, I turn to Miss Potter.

  4. I LOVE Miss Potter!
    I hope that I"ll get to re-watch it soon:)

  5. Why doesn't Norman have a mustache on the front cover??

    1. ...I don't know... All I can figure is that maybe that it was an old poster that they used and then during production decided to put a mustache on him. But I don't know.


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