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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Miss Potter


This biography/romance/drama is a fine period piece that tells a crucial moment in the life of Beatrix Potter the author of children’s books that have been around for the last 100 years. This is a charming movie that will keep a smile in your face for most of the movie and some even will shed a tear or two.

Expecting a regular biopic I was pleasantly surprised to find a movie that grows on you as the story develops. When Peter first winks got me and even if the use of animation may seem a little odd, adds magic to the movie. This reminds me of the magic in Finding Neverland.

The production is impeccable and really recreates the period; landscapes are beautiful and they look like postcards from 100 years ago England.

I am ambivalent about Renée Zellweger performance. On one side I think she makes a “plastic” performance with all her grimaces and affected physical moves –like she did in Down with Love. But then, she is just perfect when the story goes sour; she suffers and recovers very credibly.

It’s Emily Watson refreshing performance that steals the movie. Short but played very graciously Watson’s makes Millie a true firecracker. Ewan McGregor plays a pleasantly agreeable and credible Norman. Is when these characters are no longer in the story, when Renée’s performance becomes remarkable. So, maybe the supporting roles including the stern mother and the comical chaperon surpass her performance.

Nevertheless is an enchanting story that shows how a free spirited woman in turn of the century England could find her way into independence and success as a writer and ecological champion.

Now that we are in Easter season, what can be better than to watch a movie about that “bunny book” as the reluctant publishers called her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit?

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