Syrupy at times with enough chweetness to make you cringe but there is still a lot to like in this story of Beatrix Potter (played by Renee Zellweiger) – creator of the beloved Peter Rabbit. She is shown as a young but fiercely independent woman who paints and draws animals and weaves these magical characters into stories. Eventually a story is picked up by a publishing house run by the Warne family – mostly as a way to get an inexperienced brother out of their hair. This young publisher Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor) puts his all into getting the book published and makes Beatrix famous. The two misfits hit it off and are encouraged by Warne’s sister Millie (Emily Watson). There is much opposition from Beatrix’ family and the eventual tragic separation. Beatrix ends up becoming a conservationist and saves much land from development in the Lake district in England and donates it to public trust.
I loved the way this story was told – and the major cast was excellent. Renee is one of my favorites and did not disappoint – she was brilliant as the strong yet shy Beatrix – and played the part with a perfect British accent. Ewan was good as the shy Norman and Emily was outstanding as the outspoken and somewhat strange sister.
This movie is sort of sweet and schmaltzy but it is a great telling of the story of an outstanding life.