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Miss Potter
DVD disk
8 years ago By: Jason Adams
Miss Potter order
Director:
Chris Noonan

Actors:
Renee Zellweger
Ewan McGregor
Emily Watson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
“Hey, people liked that FINDING NEVERLAND movie. Let’s do that again, but with the chick that wrote Peter Rabbit. How much do you think it would cost to get Johnny Depp in drag?”
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
MISS POTTER is a whimsical feel-good drama in the vein of the aforementioned NEVERLAND, except that the main character is certifiably insane. I’m not kidding. She talks to imaginary cartoon characters and instead of having her committed, people find it cute and someone even signs her to a book deal. Maybe I’m being too “grown-up”, but every time I saw Potter argue with one of her drawings and no one stood up and said, “Hey, you probably need serious psychiatric evaluation,” I felt like channeling Walter Sobchak. ([cocks gun] Has the whole world gone CRAZY?!)

Mental delusions aside, I found the rest of MISS POTTER to be overall pretty bland. The most exciting thing about the movie is the dad’s sideburns. (Nice muttonchops, dude!) The cast was fine; Renee Zellweger in her second turn playing a famous Brit, Ewan McGregor being all charming, and the always great Emily Watson being all wasted (poorly utilized, not drunk). However, none of the performers can really bring anything new to the table given the script. It’s the same biographical drama you’ve seen before, with stuffy British people, a girl going against her rich parent’s wishes to marry a commoner, and a protagonist overcoming dire obstacles with her talent. The love story between McGregor and Zellweger has a few nice moments but overall…Zzzzzzzz…

A bigger problem is the lack of an overarching conflict. The main character is a good storyteller, a great artist, her book is immediately picked up and successful, and she finds love along the way. You don’t see any real complications until the last half hour when its shoehorned in at the last minute. Granted things get a bit more interesting in that final thirty minutes, but it was too little too late.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by director Chris Noonan: First off, this was just a plain bad recording. It sounded like Noonan was either standing 10 feet from the mic, or he recorded the commentary from inside a tin drum. Secondly, there was way too much silence throughout. He lost me within the first five minutes.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Beatrix Potter (20:13): A biography of Potter that looks to be taken from a British television program from the early 90s.

The Making of a Real Life Fairy Tale (22:16): “It’s about life.” Gee, thanks for that stellar insight. Aside from witty comments, you get your typical Making Of stuff; casting, costumes, production design, location scouting, the works.

Katie Melua Music Video (3:24): I don’t know who Ms. Melua is, but she is quite attractive. Her song sucks balls though.

A Trailer and a Commercial. That’s right, there’s actually a Honda commercial on this disc. There aren’t even any freaking cars in the movie.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
For the Weinsteins, MISS POTTER no doubt looked like a winner on the page: a famous biography, a strong feminist character, a love story amid class struggles, and an American actress pretending to be British. The one thing they didn’t count on though: we’ve already seen all those things before. And none of them involved a lady talking to a cartoon character named Squirrel Nutkins.

Extra Tidbit: Renee Zellweger spoke in a British accent all throughout filming, even when the cameras weren’t rolling. That totally would not get annoying after five minutes.
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