Miss Potter

 (4,682)7.01 h 32 min2006X-RayPG
Biography of children's author Beatrix Potter, including how she overcame a domineering mother and the chauvinism of Victorian England to become a best-selling author.
Directors
Chris Noonan
Starring
Renee ZellwegerEwan McGregorEmily Watson
Genres
DramaRomance
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Barbara FlynnBill Paterson
Producers
David KirschnerMike MedavoyArnold MesserCorey Sienega
Studio
Lionsgate
Rating
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

4682 global ratings

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  2. 8% of reviews have 4 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

The DeaconReviewed in the United States on November 29, 2015
5.0 out of 5 starsA beautiful delight
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This is a highly entertaining film with an outstanding performance from Renee Zellweger and beautiful cinematography.

The movie presents a fictionalized account of Beatrix Potter's life as the author of the Peter Rabbit stories and other children's fiction. Renee Zellweger portrays Potter and delivers an inspired, engaging, and magical performance. While the majority of the film focuses on Potter's life as an adult, there are frequent flashbacks to her childhood, where she is played by actress Lucy Boynton. Through this interleaved storytelling we learn about Potter's beginnings and development as an illustrator and writer cast against the backdrop of life in Victorian England.

A significant portion of the plotting of the film focuses on Potter's life as single adult woman in the Victorian era. She lives in her parents' home as was normal in that period, and she is usually escorted by an elderly servant when out in public, especially when in the company of young men. Her family does not take her creative interests as a would-be artist or writer very seriously, although her father is more supportive than her mother. Eventually, however, she finds a publisher who is willing to sell her work. Through this she meets a supportive ally and eventual friend in Norman Warne, who is the publisher's third son and is played by Ewan McGregor. The story shifts at this point to their interaction and Potter's growth as a author.

The film has a light-hearted tone throughout most of it, and there are frequent opportunities to showcase Zellweger's comedic talents and charm. McGregor plays an effective counterpoint as a source of both candor and earnest admiration. In particular, however, Zellweger excels at capturing the magical creative quality of Potter's talent and inspiration as an artist and storyteller. This is enhanced by some limited animation of her characters to help show her mind's eye as she captures her imagination onto the page in illustrations and writing. This magical quality is enhanced by a number of countryside scenes with superb cinematography that help shape the tone of the movie and reinforce Potter's way of looking out at the world.

What few faults the film may have I will not express here as the whole of the movie is of such high excellence. Allow yourself to be transported to Potter's world for a while; you will not be disappointed.
62 people found this helpful
Tom BrodyReviewed in the United States on January 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsOne of my favorite movies from the past 5 decades. Film will be especially attractive to amateur artists and published authors
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MISS POTTER is a biography of Beatrix Potter, artist and author of a series of fantasy children's books about rabbits, geese, pigs, and hedgehogs. MISS POTTER was directed by Chris Noon, director of the engaging and beautiful movie, BABE, which concerns a pig. MISS POTTER stars Renee Zellweger, Lucy Boynton (as young Beatrix Potter), Ewan McGregor (Potter's publisher and fiance), Barbara Flynn (as Potter's A-hole mother), and Bill Paterson (as Potter's understanding, wise, and flexible father). This is one of the greatest movies that I've seen in the past 50 years, and I watched it three times in the past three days. If you are an amateur artist, or if you are a published author, then you will absolutely adore this movie.

OPENING MINUTES. The movie begins with images of a small wooden box being opened. Inside are artists' pencils. Then, we see a pair of hands sharpening a pencil with a knife. Then, we see a hand pouring water from a glass (for the purpose of water color painting), and then we see a hand reaching for an artist's brush. Then, we see a hand opening up a water color set (just like the kind I used when I was a kid in the 1960s). Finally, at 1 min, 45 seconds into the movie, we see a hand holding a brush and painting streaks of blue on fancy artists' paper.

ZELLWEGER MAKES HER ENTRANCE. At three minutes, Zellweger says, "There's something delicious about writing the first words of a story, you can never be sure of where they will take you." Then, Zellweger explains her quest to find a publisher of her children's book. "I've been selling my drawings for greeting cards for 7 years," she explains during her interview with a publisher. At 5 min, 30 seconds into the movie, the publisher accepts her book. Zellweger is pleased, of course, and the viewer will be treated to an episode where she twists her lips, flexes her lips, and where her lips move in little grimacing expressions. This is how Zellweger expresses pleasure because of the acceptance of her book. Of course, there are many flabby-lipped actresses, such as Zellweger, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, and the abundantly annoying Anne Hathaway (she often uses a very annoying VOCAL FRY when speaking, and her mouth looks like a frightening monster-mouth, such as that of the Joker in the Batman cartoon). But Zellweger is the only flabby-lipped actress to use her own lips as a tool for expressing emotions. Truly, Zellweger exploits her lips, to good effect, as an organ of expression just as ordinary actors use their hands and eyes to communicate various emotions.

BEATRIX POTTER GETS FLACK FROM PARENTS. At 8 1/2 minutes into the movie, Zellweger is back home (she lives with her parents, even though she's in her early 30s). The movie shows Potter's mother, who has a condescending attitude towards Potter, which continues to the very end of the story. At 9 min, 50 sec, begins the first of several flashbacks, where we see Beatrix Potter as a child. We see excellent sketches of rabbits and other animals, made by the 8-year old Potter. In this first flashback, Potter's father tells the 8-year old girl that her job is to get married and become a homemaker. He says, "something suitable to the young lady who will soon grow up and run a fine home, just like her mother." At 13 minutes into the movie, the flashback concludes, and Zellweger gets a visit at her home from the youngest of the three brothers. Then, the viewer is treated with dialogue about the technical features of the book-printing procedures. Potter's parents give her flack for wanting to visit the printing house, and she confronts them saying, "I see absolutely no reason why an artist shouldn't visit her printer." At 17 minutes, we see a flashback where Potter at age 10 is sketching in her garden, while her brother plays croquet. We see a real hedgehog and a real rabbit meandering in the garden, and Potter and her brother chase the rabbit. At 19 min, 30 seconds, the mother and father both pester the ten year old Beatrix Potter, regarding their expectations that she will some day get married. But the ten year old insists that she not get married. The mother says, "Really Beatrix, what young man is ever going to marry a girl with a face full of mud?" (Beatrix has mud on her dress and face, from chasing the rabbit in the garden.) "Well, I shan't marry it doesn't matter," insists the 10-year old Potter. "Of course you shall marry, all girls marry," says her arrogant and bullying mother. "I did, your grandmother did . . ." continues the arrogant mother. "Well I shan't, I shall draw," insists the ten year old Potter. "Those silly drawings, who will love you," says the A-hole mother, derisively. "My art and my animals, I don't need more love than that," insists the 10 year old Potter.

PRINTING PRESSES. At 21 minutes, we are back at the publisher, and Zellweger is showing her drawings for her Peter Rabbit book. The viewer is treated to some excellent video of printing presses. Zellweger complains about the first color print (this scene occurs in the same room as the printing presses). She complains, "It's muddy." then, the printer adjusts the color to make it lighter. Eventually a love relationship develops between Zellweger and the youngest of the three brothers (he was assigned to her project).

SISTER OF THE THREE PUBLISHER BROTHERS. At 24 minutes into the movie, a sister ("Millie") enters the plot, and she likes Zellweger and exclaims, "I have decided that you and I are going to be friends . . . I warn you, I am prepared to like you very much." The sister and adult Beatrix Potter share the view that there is nothing shameful about a woman staying single. The bit of dialogue that goes, "I warn you, I am prepared to like you very much" struck me as very unusual and clever.

UNATTRACTIVE GEEK EPISODE. At 27 minutes comes an amusing part, where Zellweger's mother reminds her that she had been introduced to several appropriate men of the same social class as Potter's parents. What is amusing, is that we are shown flashbacks of each of the potential husbands (suitors), and they are each disclosed as being an unattractive and disgusting geek. At 30 minutes, another flashback is shown, where the girl Beatrix Potter explains about a stupid duck, and we see her duck drawings. This flashback is part of the main plot where adult Beatrix Potter is showing her publisher her next book, which concerns a duck, and which is called Jemima Puddle Duck.

CONCLUSION. I don't want to give away too much, and so I'm not writing any more. The script and dialogue in this movie, from start to finish, is stunningly clever, unique, and attractive. How I love this movie. The movie is just as suitable for adults as it is for children. Also, there are no guns, no bad words, and no concupiscence. Actually, the movie continually invokes concupiscence, because in all of the scenes where adult Beatrix Potter is in the presence of the young publisher brother, an elderly lady (apparently a servant hired by Potter's parents to be a chaperone) is following close behind.
22 people found this helpful
J.L.P.Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Honest Review
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This movie is honestly probably on point to the actually facts of Beatrix Potter's life and how Peter Rabbit became a bestselling children's book around the world. I find it entertaining, sad, happy, and every single emotion when watching this movie. I enjoy movies about real people's lives (particularly authors) and this one definitely hit hard for me. What I also like about the film is the animations (yes there are a few animations) when you look at B.Potter's drawings, watercolor paintings of her characters in the books. It gives a sense of dimensional surreal fantasy but yet you are still in reality which I find very pleasant.

5/5 Stars from me.
26 people found this helpful
TrancelucenceReviewed in the United States on January 1, 2018
5.0 out of 5 starsSimply Wonderful
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I LOVE this film. It encapsulates every innermost yearning- for triumphing over circumstance, for being one's self while also of use in the world, finding one's purpose, expressing oneself creatively, and most of all, for finding true love. I admit I dissolve into tears along with Beatrix up in her room after the momentous Christmas Party. Simple but strangely perfect tale, and largely TRUE. Besides being an early conservationist, what was left out of the story was the fact that Potter was a largely self-trained botanist (in mycology, the study of fungi) and based on her painstaking research developed a new theory of how fungi germinate and hybridize, largely ignored at the time due to her sex. Her detailed botanical drawings and paintings are still used in the field today. Extraordinary, as is this film. The costumes, locales, cinematography, the music- all are splendid, up-close, intimate. Everyone involved is letter perfect, and the chemistry between Zellweger and Ewan McGregor is potent. One of my favorites.
14 people found this helpful
SBrewerReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2021
1.0 out of 5 starsit was really sweet until the extreme feminist character shows up
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it had the potential to be a good movie, but they lost me when they decided to use it as a modern political platform.
as a female, who identifies as female, who has chosen to marry, I felt personally insulted by the idea that married women are lesser than single women. One cannot be simultaneously for women's freedom to choose while also holding the opinion that their choice is invalid. if one choice is unacceptable then there is no choice at all, and it's just another form of oppression.
6 people found this helpful
E.A.Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 starsA Beautifully Written, Filmed, and Acted Story: A Little Gem
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How this got buried somehow under the deluge of guns, gore, and grossness in the 2015 movie line up is emblematic of how films are marketed. Of course, Beatrix Potter was the author and illustrator of the best-selling children's books of all time--but that wasn't even to get it noticed or nominated. This famous and talented woman had a rather dull, bourgeois existence in Victorian England--but her imagination was rich and we are the beneficiaries of her vision.

Read the children you know these books (or even better, read them again yourselves), see the film, and contemplate the possibilities of beauty and kindness in the world.
4 people found this helpful
T. R. LAVALLEYReviewed in the United States on April 23, 2021
5.0 out of 5 starsReally sweet Bio Pic.
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Renee does a wonderful job of playing the woman behind Peter, Miss Tiggy-winkle and Squirrel Nutkin. The Story is much more a family drama, than a romance as its presented on the cover, with Barbra Flynn playing Beatrix's exasperated mother; who wants the best for her spinster daughter but just does not understand her at all. Early in the film there are animated moments where Bea is talking to her characters, fortunately they do not continue too deep in the story as I think they make her look a touch mad. After she meets with her publisher the story remains grounded in the real world, and is surprisingly engaging. I think Miss Potter is definitely a good movie for grown ups; but artists and writers of any level of accomplishment will particularly love it, IMHO. BB
One person found this helpful
Doggie mommyReviewed in the United States on August 30, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is a delightful movie that shows the most beautiful scenery of the English/Scotish country
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This is a delightful movie that shows the most beautiful scenery of the English/Scotish country, the grounds where they filmed it are like postcards. It's about the life of the great Helen Beatrix Potter, author of the famous Tale of Peter Rabbit & many others, she was such a prolific author & illustrator & her art lives forever so this movie it gives viewers the chance to have a little of more of a visual idea of what her life was about & where she lived & got inspired. Would highly recommend to any Potter fan & others.
17 people found this helpful
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