Genre: Biography, Drama, Fantasy
Directed by: Chris Noonan
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson
Going home; by which I mean the house I grew up in, is something I don’t do all too often, but I do make the point of popping back every so often.
On a rare, quiet Saturday night in, my mum has prepared a massive bowl of homemade salty popcorn and we’re getting ready to watch a movie. (I have to point out here that we were able to choose from a range of titles (and TV shows) using her Netflix account. This isn’t a paid plug for it by the way, but if they asked me I’d certainly do one! The range of films available, categorising is simple and on a good TV the picture is flawless.)
We eventually decided on something light, something that was warm and kind and cozy: the wonderful story of Beatrix Potter and how her stories came to be. I remember reading the stories as a child, having the tiny, slim books that used only a few pages and little illustrations to capture my imagination and amuse me long into the evening, when I should have been sleeping. The stories are full of colourful characters that have little adventures, stories of moments in the lives of animals as told as though they were people, as though they were/are friends.
Peter Rabbit with his blue coat is iconic, like Winnie the Pooh or Alice (In Wonderland), so it makes sense that he makes appearances throughout the films in Potter’s drawing style as animated imaginations of Beatrix’s works. The idea that Beatrix (Renee Zellweger) is so enchanted by her own ideas that she sees them react to her and around her, bridges reality with the imagination, her imagination. As a writer and a lover of the classic children’s stories out there, it is this view of the world, through her eyes, that I love because I share this way of seeing the world, as though your creations are just waiting to escape from paper into life.
The story follows Beatrix from trying to get her little book published through much rejection and belittling, until someone decides to give her a chance; though because of selfish motives. She then becomes involved in a very adorable romance as she starts and continues to do well, with her books getting more and more popular. Until finally, using her newfound wealth she moves to the Lake District and continues to write as well as save the farms from being bought up by developers. This story in man ways makes Miss Potter into one of the sweetest characters ever, but of course she may not have been (after all didn’t she dislike children?).
Whether because of the storytelling or my own childhood nostalgia, or a combination of the two, I was captivated by this movie. It’s light, heartwarming, just a touch of emotional (for realism) and it has a hint of the cheekiness just for fun. Overall, it’s a good family movie and a nice reminder not to forget these books for future generations.
Thank you Beatrix, for your stories.
Thank you Miss Potter, for being entertaining.