For those who aren't itching for more big explosions and yippee kai yay exclamations, there's another DVD that's hitting the stands today -- Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregor's Miss Potter. The film, which was in theaters earlier this year, is based on the life of Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit and the famous collection of children's books and merchandise that came after it. While by no means a complete portrait of her life, the film delves into the progressively-minded storyteller/artist as she fights to free herself of her parental restraints and be her own woman during the first years of the 20th century.
Having been inundated with Potter paraphernalia as a child, I was curious to get a look into the famous woman's life. How does the film work? It's not terrible, but not terribly great either. Unfortunately, the movie starts with Zellweger doing a voice-over which is way too much like Bridget Jones, so it takes a bit to wipe memories of the actress' previous role and get into the life of Beatrix. Beyond that, Miss Potter is one of those stories that gives genuine moments of laughter and sadness, intermingled with real-life happenings, but it's also one without a strong focus. Sure, our attention is directed towards Potter, but you're not sure in what context -- a love story, a story of female power, a story of family or a story of friendship. While each of these elements is present, it's not in a fluid way. This would be okay with a non-linear story, but in this context, it makes for uneven storytelling.