In 1902, in London, the spinster Beatrix Potter lives with her bourgeois parents. Her snobbish mother, Helen Potter, had introduced several bachelors to Beatrix until she was twenty years old, but she had turned them all down. Beatrix Potter has been drawing animals and making up stories about them since she was a child, but her parents have never recognized her as an artist. One day, Miss Potter offers her stories to a print house, and a rookie publisher, Norman Warne, who is delighted with her tales, publishes her first children's book. This success leads Norman to publish two other books, and Miss Potter meanwhile becomes the best friend of his single sister Millie Warne. Soon Beatrix and Norman fall in love with each other, but Helen does not accept that her daughter would marry a "trader". However, Beatrix's father Rupert Potter proposes that his daughter spend the summer with his wife and him in their country house in Lake District, and if she is still interested in Norman after... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I saw this film on December 17th, 2006 in Indianapolis. I am one of the judges for the Heartland Film Festival's Truly Moving Picture Award. A Truly Moving Picture " explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life." Heartland gave that award to this film.
This is the story of Beatrix Potter, the author of many classic illustrated children's stories such as "Peter Rabbit." She was raised in the latter part of the 19th Century in an upper middle class, stuffy family. And worked in the early part of the 20th Century.
It is a story of rebellion, and one woman's liberation from knowing one's place, settling on an arranged marriage, and quietly raising a family in the shadow of a man. Beatrix (Renee Zellweger) would have none of that. She had a dreamy artist's imagination and talent and temperament from an early age and simply rebelled and lived in her own created world. When the world recognized her talent, she slowly became a part of the commercial world via the book publishing industry and a mentor/love interest (Ewan McGregor) and the mentor's sister (Emily Watson).
The cast is brilliant. You go back in time with them a 100 years and live with and understand their stilted social mores. The art direction and cinematography are stunning and are worthy of Academy Award nominations.
There is one neat trick of animation that appears throughout this film. The drawn animal characters occasionally become animated, but only to Beatrix. It sounds hokey, but it is a clever way to demonstrate how real these characters were to their author. And, it's why they have rung true to children and to adults for many generations.
Beatrix is a model for determination and pluck and steadfastness. This is a beautiful story beautifully told. Undoubtedly, this film will be compared to "Finding Neverland." "Miss Potter" is of the same high quality.
FYI There is a Truly Moving Pictures web site where there is a listing of past Truly Moving Picture Award winners that are now either at the theater or available on video.
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