Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Miss Potter & her charming books

My husband and I recently watched the movie Miss Potter and thoroughly enjoyed it! I love being able to watch a movie and know that it can be recommended to anyone. This is one of those movies. The casting was great (and I normally don't like RZ) and, upon looking to see what Beatrix and characters REALLY looked like, I discovered that casting in this film was very well done (except RZ IS admittedly cuter than the real Miss Potter). Here's where I confess (again!) that I have never read any of the Potter books beyond Peter Rabbit. I know, I know, I know! You know how movie reviewers (the official ones) are always suggesting that This Particular Movie is sure to educate the public and spark curiosity to learn more about the person the movie is about? This time it worked. I was hooked. WHO was Beatrix Potter really and what are her books like?

The following weekend, when I was out doing my summer garage saleing, I came across a partial set of Potter books, in great condition, for a mere $0.25 a piece. Yay! I promptly snatched them up and read the following titles: The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tailor of Gloucester, The Tale of Two Bad Mice, The Tale of Miss Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of Tom Kitten, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. I rather liked them all but my favorite was The Tale of Two Bad Mice. I thought that one was particularly cute and I'm not sure why. (Please, no inferences!) They were all very fun reads and I was glad for a chance to view more of Potter's artwork. I do have to say that I really don't like the drawings of humans. They are distinctly victorian in taste and I really don't enjoy that style very much. I suppose it did fit the times. I think she did a much better job capturing wildlife than she did the human race, but that's only my opinion and you are welcome to your own.

After reading the books I sought to learn more about Beatrix herself and discovered that the movie was pretty much on target with her life. I'm sure a few "liberties" were taken here and there but it seemed to be rather true to life. Since the Official Beatrix Potter Website is promoting it, I guess it must be ok! (Although you really can't take that argument very far because Green Gables on PEI promotes anything Anne and that includes a few rather atrociously marketed items.) However! I do think I shall applaud Hollywood for their efforts to capture the life of Beatrix Potter in such an altogether charming light.

I LIKE this woman. I like her works. I'm glad to own the books that I do, and I'm looking forward to collecting the rest of the books and sharing them with my children. If you haven't had a chance to either watch the movie or read the books, I'd suggest doing both. I'm sorry to say I was previously missing out! I'd hate to think you are too.


Rose said...

I've been wanting to see this movie! I love the BP books, and so enjoy reading them aloud to Jane in a British tone. I've always found her writings to be so quaint and whimsical. Glad you enjoyed discovering her!

Erin said...

Tale of Two Bad Mice is my favorite too!

This was a really sweet movie.

Queen of Carrots said...

Oh, we should see this. And I should drag out our Treasury of Peter Rabbit and see if the ducklings are old enough to be interested yet.

I thought I was relatively familiar with the books, but one day DOB's youngest brother (14) was talking to the ducklings about the little rabbit-holding-a-cabbage figurine I use to dump my pot scrubbers in and he said that it was Peter Rabbit.

"How do you know it's not Benjamin Bunny?" I asked.

"His jacket is *blue*" he replied, "Benjamin Bunny wears a *brown* jacket." There you have it from a true fan.

Mikaila said...

I've been thinking about seeing this movie and you just convinced me!

Anonymous said...

I saw this film a couple weeks ago and was very impressed. Like you, I'm not a big fan of RZ either, but thought she did an excellent job in this role. Great plot, great acting, great cinematography, and a nice balance of whimsy yet respect for the tragedies of Potter's life.

Thanks for your review!

Terri said...

I also thoroughly enjoyed this movie though I was skeptical at first.

Sky said...

My Bestefar read her books to me. Not only to I cherish them for being beautifully illustrated and well written but every word and picture is a happy memory!

Framed said...

I haven't read her books at all, but I can't wait to see the movie.

Sherry said...

i saw the movie a few weeks ago myself and liked it very much. Wouldn't it be inspiring for a young would-be artist or illustrator?

ChicoryChick said...

My family and I enjoyed watching this movie several weeks ago. My girls love to draw and write and it inspired them to make their own little books with their drawings and stories.

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