Saturday, April 25, 2009
Miss Potter. Feature film. (2006, 92 mins) IMDB
ISS POTTER is a charming film about the life of Beatrix Potter--noted children's book author and illustrator.
It's the early 1900s in London, England. Potter lives an affluent and protected life with her wealthy parents. She loves animals, love to draw and paint. She also writes stories about her animals.
The early scenes show her making her first steps in the publishing world. The two older brothers who run a publishing firm don't think much of her book and give it to their younger, neophyte brother as a pet project. Little did they realize the book and many that followed would be best sellers.
The young brother is Norman Warne. The two fall in love but since Potter has sworn off marriage and the norms of Victorian England are restrictive, it takes a while for the love to blossom. When she agrees to marry him, her parents are against it. He's a tradesman and beneath her standing and the family's standing in society. Such was the way back then. The three reach an agreement. The family will go away for the summer and if after the summer, they still want to marry, they can do so. Day after day Potter and her fiancé exchange letters until his letters stop. It's not that he's fallen out of love, but that he has become ill. When Potter races back to London to be with him, she's too late. The illness took his life.
That's not how a Hollywood movie is supposed to go, but this film is a biographical and these are the facts. Her first love died before they could marry.
As unmarried woman she has lived her entire life with her parents, but with the wealth from her book sales and desire to live in the country, she buys a farm and moves from London. She continues to draw and paint and write new children's books, but develops an interest in conserving farm land and nature and buys up property.
It's during the property buying that she reconnects with a childhood friend, Mr. Heelis--a country lawyer. Eventually they marry.
I enjoyed the movie. The performances by all the actors were strong--even the small roles.
I also enjoyed the animation moments were Potter's drawings of Peter Rabbit come to life on screen. It's been done before but it was fun to watch.
Posted 2009/04/25 at 19h42ET in Movie Commentary.