Miss Potter - Renee Zellweger & Ewan McGregorIntro

Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor team up once again to co-star in this cute fairy tale romance about a fairy tale author.

The Story

Renee Zellweger stars as fairy tale author Beatrix Potter in 1902 London who has lived a life filled with dull and her only friends being the animal characters that she creates. She has always hated the city but has to go in anyway to sell her book “Peter Rabbit” to a publisher and finally manages to get it accomplished. Even though the publisher is doubtful that it will make any sort of profit, they send it over to their youngest partner as a project that matters little. Enter Ewan McGregor who plays the inexperienced publisher, Norman Warne, which will change her life forever.

Though both Norman and Beatrix were both dead set on never marrying, she begins to leave her sheltered life and enter an affair with her publisher as she also remembers what her life was like growing up and the events that helped her create her most famous characters.

The Good And The Bad

From the first moment that you enter this film you are swept away by its elegance and attention to detail. The period dress and accents were so beautiful and intricately done and really struck me right away. This continued throughout the film and never once did anything I saw feel or look out of place.

The occasional fantasy animation from Beatrix’s point of view was always fun to see and a nice touch. It certainly makes you want to know so much more about how this woman lived and what it was like inside her mind that she saw her characters move about so vividly in front of her. This film did such a wonderful job of capturing the idea of her characters being living, breathing creatures to Beatrix. They were obviously so much more than just characters to her; they were her life and her friends.

The writing in the film was quite wonderful but it lacked a certain emotional touch to it that failed to bring me into the film more than it could have. In a certain emotional and quite sad scene near the end of the film, Beatrix faces a tragedy and there was a very large opportunity to bring the audience further into the film and really make them empathize with her but during this scene, I felt nowhere near the depth of sadness that I thought that I would. I certainly empathized with her but with such an experience that in other films would cause audience members to weep, I found myself merely watching in silence as I waited to see how it played out further.

The performances from the actors really played well with me and I failed to see any performances that I felt were lacking in any way. Renee Zellweger really captured the fanciful and tragic life and personality of Beatrix Potter quite well and I never once doubted her within that role. Ewan McGregor’s performance was equally clever and fun though I was saddened to see his part so compacted. Though he did the very best with what he had, his character always felt as though it could have been developed into so much more.

Naturally the film was about the life of the author but Norman played such a large role and had such a large impact on her life, I really think that it could’ve added so much emotional impact to the film had he been developed more and fleshed out just a bit to help the audience feel that much closer to him as Beatrix did for him.

Outside of the primary performers though the audience would be well advised to look for an actress named Emily Watson who played Norman’s sister, Millie. Watson did a phenomenal job of getting into this role and it was so amazing to see the transformation from what she is and who she played.


All of the music in this film is done with very soft string instrumentals with occasional piano undertones. The arrangements were period in nature and sounded perfectly in place and always added the perfect emotional impact to the scenes that they played. It is always nice to see a film that uses the music so well but still manages to find the balance between invisible and overbearing.


Besides a commentary track with director Chris Noonan, there are only a few extras with this release including a making of feature, a re-telling of Beatrix Potter’s first, and most famous, story ‘Peter Rabbit’ and the music video for the film’s theme song ‘When You Taught Me How To Dance’ by Katie Melua.

The best of these extras was easily the behind the scenes feature as not only does it go into great detail about the filming process but also has many scenes of the actors talking about the author and what their impressions of her was.


Despite so many missed opportunities to bring the audience in and really make them empathize with the characters, this is a wonderful story about one of the finest authors ever. Beatrix Potter was a remarkable woman who lived a life that deserves to be told. A fine film to watch with those you love or by yourself, this modern fairy tale is going to please even the most stubborn of fans.

Final Grade: 88% – B

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