Combustible Celluloid
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With: Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor, Emily Watson, Lucy Boynton, Barbara Flynn, Matyelok Gibbs, Jane How, Anton Lesser, Justin McDonald, Richard Mulholland, Lloyd Owen, Bill Paterson
Written by: Richard Maltby Jr.
Directed by: Chris Noonan
MPAA Rating: PG brief mild language
Running Time: 92
Date: 12/03/2006

Miss Potter (2006)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Rabbit Tales

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Chris Noonan's Miss Potter is more interested in capturing the essence of its subject -- children's author Beatrix Potter -- than in providing a checklist of the things she accomplished. Miss Potter starts badly and ends badly, but a good, solid hour in the middle is as charming as anything you'll see this holiday season. Beatrix (Renée Zellweger) is unmarried and in her thirties in turn-of-the-century London. She likes to spend her time with her "friends," her drawings and paintings of rabbits and such. Sometimes, these "friends" come to life on the page -- in lovely hand-drawn animation by Alyson Hamilton -- but without overwhelming the film and drawing attention away from Beatrix. Beatrix has written a little illustrated book called Peter Rabbit. Of course, the book is a major success, and Beatrix and her publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) continue to work together on more books, while slowly falling in love. Noonan, of course, is the celebrated, Oscar-nominated director of Babe (1995), and this is his first film since that hit. He has an animator's smooth, springy touch, and he tones down the film's early twittery parts as well as the later, hysterically tragic parts. (Please read my full review at Miss Potter

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