Beginning in 1902, Miss Potter tells the sweet and at times very sad story of Beatrix Potter’s life and her struggles and successes as she becomes a best-selling author. As an unmarried woman interested in art, Beatrix is somewhat of a disappointment to her uptight and snobbish mother although her father takes a kinder view towards her paintings. When a publishing firm agrees to print The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix finds herself embarking on a new and exciting friendship with her publisher and his sister, a fellow unmarried woman named Millie. The story is interspersed with beautiful animations of Beatrix Potter’s drawings which she often interacts with and talks to. The charming acting of the lead actors sits well within the lovely locations chosen for the film, with Beatrix spending her time between London and the Lake District, where she would eventually purchase Hill Top Farm as her home. Of course I always like to comment on the costuming – the characters wear some beautiful turn of the century outfits, and IMDb even claims that they are all original pieces although I can’t find any verification for this elsewhere. Regardless, it’s all very nice to look at and seems in keeping with the outfits worn by Beatrix Potter in photographs of her from the time.
While there are a few historical inaccuracies and missing bits (such as her interest in botany which is not touched on at all), all in all the production team paid great attention to the details as fans of Beatrix Potter would easily pick out things that were incorrect. For those who are familiar with Beatrix Potter’s stories but may know less about her personal life, the film is wonderfully nostalgic and would also appeal to young children as the target audience for the original books. As someone who had enjoyed some of Beatrix Potter’s books as a child, I found it interesting to learn more about her life behind the stories. I particularly enjoyed the integration of the animations into the live action film, as the characters are very sweet and it highlights Beatrix’s slightly eccentric personality.
Overall I’d recommend this film, especially if you’re already a fan of the Beatrix Potter stories.