Miss Potter

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +4

Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Barbara Flynn, Bill Paterson, Lloyd Owen. Writer Richard Malby Jr. Director Chris Noonan.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Beatrix Potter has delighted generations of children with her books. But she kept her own private life locked carefully away. Oscar-winning star Renee Zellweger is now bringing her secret story to the screen in Miss Potter, the first film directed by Chris Noonan since his charming 1995 movie, Babe. It is set in the high summer days of late Victorian and Edwardian England, during which Beatrix develops her natural skills as artist and story-teller. When she finally publishes her debut book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, she becomes a writing celebrity. It also leads to courtship and her first love with publisher Norman Warne, played by Ewan McGregor. Their relationship and his marriage proposal in July, 1905, was to change Beatrixs life for ever.

It was a love she could not announce - or even talk about. In high-society London, her parents had insisted she keep it from friends and neighbors. They considered her proposed wedding a mismatch. Warne, they said, was from trade and demanded that she carefully reconsider their life together. Beatrix allowed herself to be persuaded to leave her fianc and London. It was supposed to be a time for reflection and calm. But, instead, she faced tragedy and loneliness, and returned with a different outlook. She became a woman of strong views and independence. She also built up a farming dynasty in the Lake District - a dynasty over which she took charge long after her writing career virtually ended in 1913. It established her as a woman ahead of her time. Despite becoming the worlds most successful childrens writer and a wealthy landowner and prize-winning farmer, she never forgot her first love.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Your mission, ladies, should you decide to accept it, is to convince your husbands that this film is a prequel to the action-packed Harry Potter series and not a chick flick. It is believed that the men folk will enjoy this production once they are tricked into attending. (After all, I am a man, all my heroes are cowboys, yet I liked it.)

It is beautifully photographed, with a witty and sharply written script. Ms. Zellweger plays her part well as an independent woman in an era when that outlook was shunned. Whats more, she radiates joy as a woman who discovers self-respect and one who lives to see her work appreciated. On top of that, Miss Potter is the most romantic film of the year. (Bring hankies one for you, and yes, one for him.)

As always, should you be caught or found out at any point during this Harry Potter pretense, Preview On Line will disavow any knowledge of your mission. Good luck. This review will self-destruct in 15 seconds.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: One expletive.

Profanity: None

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Social drinking at a party.

Other: There is a tragedy, as a loved one suddenly dies. This is followed by a period of grief, but the film sends a positive message about dealing with loss. This is followed by a sublimely happy ending.

Running Time: 92 minutes
Intended Audience: Girls, their moms, and sensitive dads.

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