Movie review: Miss Potter – A remarkable single woman in early 1900s

Renee Zellweger is adorable, and I’ve seen her play many types of roles very well. In this Golden-Globe-nominated movie, Miss Potter, she plays the irrepressible Beatrix Potter, author of the Tale of Peter Rabbit, living in just-past-Victorian-age England. She plays a single woman who is inspired by her characters, who paints them in beautiful detail, and then writes them into stories. She’s a single woman who determinedly seeks a voice among the 1902 all-male-women-are-not-welcome world of publishing. The story of her adventures in love and business and of how she finally gets published is utterly charming, and so the characters–including her adoring father and her obnoxious mother who keeps trying to marry her off.

Her publisher’s single sister is overjoyed to meet another single woman with a mind of her own; they become best friends. Beatrix is 32 years old and she and her new friend swear they will remain single forever. Her father gently derides her about not marrying the men her mother parades through the living room, and she says: :I won’t be pushed into this. Because I turned down men who were thought suitable because they were just barely acceptable and they could support me, does that mean I’m never to be loved?”

Then when her publisher at last asks her to marry him, she goes to her best friend, her loved one’s brother, and asks, “I know we said we’d never marry, but what do you think?” Her friend says, “Oh rubbish. What else would a single woman say? You have a chance to be loved. Take it.”

I won’t give away the next part, but I think you’ll enjoy this movie a lot.


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