Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Miss Potter

Posted by lea at 9:54 AM

The tagline of this movie is ‘Beatrix Potter’s life was the most enchanted story of all’ but I left the cinema scratching my head, wondering what on earth that meant. What made them think her life was even movie-worthy let alone enchanted? If by ‘enchanted’ they mean ‘odd’ then I concede, yes, she was odd. She talked to her drawings and had no other friends. Miss Potter indeed – Miss Potty, more like!

They seemed to be saying that her life was enchanted simply because, against the custom of her day, she was quite happy never to be married and only wanted to write and draw for the rest of her life. Of course she DOES fall in love, then there’s tragedy but because of her literary success she’s able to buy a farm in the country and move there to continue writing for the rest of her life.

Overall, it was quite an unspectacular movie…. to be honest, very dull. The events of her life (her success, making a friend, falling in love) could have been dramatised, but they weren’t. The movie flatlined early on and never picked up. Emotions were never engaged, curiosity never aroused, and the plot never actually climaxed.

We all know that Renee Zellweger can carry a British accent (Bridget Jones’s Diary), and we know that she and Ewan McGregor can create on-screen chemistry (Down With Love), but neither of those factors were able to lift this movie off the ground. Becoming Jane, about the life of Jane Austen, is soon to be released, and I really, really, really hope that’s not botched up like this one.


Caesar on February 4, 2007 at 2:22 AM said...

I've never really understood the "historical fiction" genre, particularly where an attempt is made to recreate the life and/or experiences of an actual person (as opposed to, say, Ben Hur, where there is some merit to the fiction itself). To me, it is outrageous that somebody would dare to perpetuate an imagined (and hence inaccurate) version of real events.

Personal gripes aside, it sounds like the movie is an attempt to bring Peter Rabbit back into the public consciousness. In this day and age where the threat of losing the copyright to old and unused Intellectual Property is very real (especially works of that vintage), it may simply be an attempt by the copyright holder to prevent it from slipping unnoticed into the public domain.

Or, the (even more) cynical part of me would say that it's just another example of Hollywood running out of ideas and strip mining historical literature.

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