I have just been to the movie Miss Potter, starring Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, and based on the life of Beatrix Potter, and I loved it so much that I am going to have to rave about it for at least two more paragraphs.
I was a bit diffident about seeing the film because I'm a little iffy sometimes about whether Ewan McGregor is actually all he's cracked up to be, and I wondered whether Renee Zellweger would mistake an English accent for being Bridget Jones all over again - but this is the best film I've seen with them in it yet. They have wonderful chemistry. The other characters are all really strong, and the relationship of Miss Potter with her parents was especially interesting. It's the sort of film that deserves the adjectives 'charming', 'delightful', and 'Really Nice' - but in no way is it wishy-washy or forgettable. I love that it is in many ways a serious and at times heart-wrenching movie, yet it manages not to leave you with a feeling of sorrow as it finishes. It is beautifully filmed, with a sweet and witty screenplay. From the opening credits you could tell it would be lovely - the attention to colour and texture was perfect. The scenery is also stunning in the sections filmed in the Lake District. The animation of her little characters is also very cute and original. I don't know much about Beatrix Potter's life, but it didn't seem to stray into the realms of Hollywood-izing. It also didn't go in the other direction and just trail off leaving you wondering if that was the real ending; it managed a plot, which I think is important in a movie.
My sister was telling me about an interview with Ewan McGregor she heard, talking about this movie. He was saying that he loved how the romantic climax of this movie was a kiss. Merely a kiss. They don't make them that way anymore. I would agree highly. The kiss was beautifully done. Thank goodness for a movie that doesn't have to make its characters sexually repressed whenever a hint of chasteness is present.
So, all in all, I would highly recommend this movie. I happened to love Beatrix Potter's books as a child (in fact, I still do), but even if you've never heard of her before, you will probably love this film too.
Let's hope the coming movie based on Jane Austen, starring Anne Hathaway, will be as brilliant. I am inclined to suspect no. The few reviews I've read so far don't sound very promising (eg this one), and it sounds like they are going to focus on a part of Austen's life that has never seemed that crucial to me. It's a bit depressing really. It does have James McAvoy as the romantic lead, which I approve of immensely, but for any of the purists out there (like me), I have a horrible feeling we're going to hate it.