"Miss Potter" directed by Chris Noonan [review]
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To answer the most pressing question first: no, this isn’t a film about Harry Potter’s sister. Miss Potter, the charming new film by Chris Noonan (best known on our shores as the director of the original Babe) is a biopic built around the life and writing experiences of beloved children’s author Beatrix Potter. The creator of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and scores of other indescribably adorable animal characters is apparently still the highest-selling children’s author in history, beating everyone from Enid Blyton to latter-day picture book creators. Born in 1866, Beatrix Potter was a member of a reasonably affluent London family that had made its fortune in industry. As a young woman interested in making her own way in the world rather than settling for a convenient marriage, Beatrix spent many years proving to her rather strict and traditional parents that earning her own living as a writer and illustrator was nothing to be ashamed of. Potter’s mother in particular was deeply sceptical about her daughter’s talents and prospects, even in the face of Beatrix’s growing fame in the early years of the 20th century. Alongside these family struggles, Beatrix faced that with which we are all confronted in our growing up: romantic yearnings. These twin threads, family and romance, are really what the story of Miss Potter is built upon.