Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story..."

Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger as Beatrix Potter and Ewan McGregor - must see this one -:

"....you can never quite tell where they'll take you."

     (Naomi is pink/mauve, Emma is green. Like the last time. We are back. To haunt you all. Mwuhahahahahaha. And by the way, this post will contain spoilers to some degree. We don't care about hiding spoilers.)

     Naomi and I had made a mental "list" of all the movies we wanted to watch during our time together, and since Miss Potter is one we both love DEARLY it was one of the first we thought of. We watched it the other night, and ohhhhhhhh my. *wipes tears*

     We must start with getting it from the library. Because the dvd forgets allll about the beautiful mustache (practically the only cinema mustache I like) and Norman Warne stands there completely bare-faced, and it is so WEIRD. It's like they thought it would attract more viewers or something. We however, love our Norman Warne best with his mustache. *Mustache rant over*

     (I think you're getting a little off-track, Naomi.)

    Let's get this started properly. WE LOVE THIS MOVIE. Terribly much. When the music began and the credits started sweeping across the screen, with Beatrix's hands fingering her paintbrushes and the watercolors and everything, we both simultaneously caught our breath and sighed (yes, it is possible to do at the same time) over this beautiful film that we both love so dearly. In Naomi's words, "It's like a piece of my heart."

     I KNOW. IT IS SO GOOD. And when the paintbrush dips into the water, and there's this puff of bluey cloudiness - YOU KNOW - and it just makes you want to jump up and devote your life to drawing and fulfilling the dreams of your creative heart. (I'm sounding terribly poetical today.) (But really. This movie does particular things to me. There's literally nothing I dislike about it.)

     It's true -- it does things to you. It's not entirely a happy movie -- goodness knows, there are some teary parts and if you have any heart at all you'll more than likely find yourself weeping -- but yet, it's so hopeful and optimistic and quirky and happy and you can't come away from watching it without feeling some spark of creative inspiration. At least, to us as Creative People (we flatter ourselves) it made us want to write, and draw, and paint.....which we did actually try, by the way, yesterday, but you're not allowed to see what we painted so don't even ask.

     The main character of the movie is, obviously, Beatrix Potter, so we're going to go ahead and tell you just what we think of her.

     The one word for our dear Beatrix ("that's to be the last of Miss Potter, I'm afraid") is quirky. And I mean that in the best way possible. She's different, she's cheerful, she's super kind as well as adorably stubborn in certain situations - and plus, she's insanely talented. (And she makes drawing life-like bunnies at the age of what, ten, look super easy. Believe me, it is not.)

     What I love about Beatrix is that she knows what she wants for herself, but she's not overly pushy about it. She's an unmarried woman, thirty-two years old, still living with her mother and father and doesn't have too many prospects in the way of marriage, which makes her something of a social outcast (or at least on her way in that direction.) So when she takes her little "bunny book" to the publisher's and *gasp* they decide to publish it, it opens a whole new world for her. Suddenly she's got something going for herself -- something entirely unique and entirely her own. Beatrix says about the book, "It's changed me," and it has -- she was always a lovely person, but I think after the book she had a new zest for life. It makes her even more enthusiastic about everything, which is lovely to see.

     (And then there's that bald lady in the corner observing everyone of her new adventures. Lets make her fall asleep so we can dance and get engaged in private. *ahem* Getting ahead here.) Anyway, so yes, Beatrix Potter is a darling - and she has the cutest little smile ever. I love how she gets so excited and enthusiastic about her books and her characters and her drawings - how she creates this whole imaginary world of her own, and completely blossoms as it becomes more and more popular.

Enter Norman Warne. (We like him too.)

    He's so awkward in the beginning, and it is super cute. (I hate to use the word cute to describe such a good fellow as Mr Warne, but sometimes words seem to fail.) Emma, back to you. I can't really explain why I like Norman Warne so much - he's not exactly a swoony type of hero, and neither would he be on my top ten hero list - but STILL. He's such a good sport and I reallyreallyreally like him.

     (If she loved him less, she might be able to talk about it more.) I agree, Norman is not the swoony type, but that's why I like him. He's not your typical hero; he's just a normal guy with a kind heart. I love how he and Beatrix start out as business partners, then friends, before anything like romance is introduced to the story (but then, I'm always the one for friendships before romance).

    (Saaaame.) And, if I might add, in comparison to his older brothers, he is DEFINITELY a swoony type.

     Are you ready to talk about his death? I'm not sure I am. IT IS SO SAD. Especially the second time watching, because you know the railway scene is their last scene together... and that their kiss in the steam is their last touch ever, because Beatrix doesn't even come back on time for the funeral. It's like he just disappears. First he writes her letters that she reads by beautiful lakes and rollicking hills; then she rushes to his house where she finds his sister dressed in black, and his brothers dressed in black, and that's it. BLEEHHH IT IS SO SAAAD.

   It is terribly sad. It's REALLY REALLY SAD. I didn't cry this time (probably because I've seen this movie about three times prior and I'd already gotten my tears out) but trust me, it's definitely tear-worthy. This is mostly due to the fact that Renee Zellweger is a fantabulous actress as well as one of the best on-screen "cryers" in Hollywood, in my opinion. She has such a sensitivity about her that makes you want to give her arm a squeeze and say, "It's going to be alright, you'll see." And then she'll go and do something amazing and you'll want to shake your fist in triumph and shout, "YEAH BEATRIX!" Her portrayal is very human, very sympathetic, and very strong.

     Wait, we were supposed to be talking about Norman, not Beatrix. (I've gotten slightly off-track. Whoopsie.) Ewan McGregor is a great actor too, no doubt about it. Also I love how his name is McGregor -- it fits, don't you think? One of those ironic little details that makes me smile. ;-)

     I love Millie. Aside from her wretched mop of hair, that is, and her ties, (I don't like ties on women. It just seems so out of place.) (For the record, Emma doesn't think Millie's hair is that bad. My own hair looks worse than that most days.)

     Millie Warne is a brick. (Which, by the way, is one of the two highest compliments that can be given a person. See me or my sister for the other one.) She's a true-blue friend, exactly the kind of companion Beatrix needs. I find it amusing how Millie has got their whole friendship plotted out and practically established before she even meets Beatrix. ;-P She's that kind of person -- if she likes you, she'll let you know, and everybody wants a friend who loves to spend time with them, right? I love Millie. I never found her "anti-man" speeches really offensive (as I've heard some do), because she's not overly pushy about it but rather endearing. What I LOVE, though, is when she confides to Beatrix that everything she's said about not getting married is "hogwash. What else is a woman on her own supposed to say?" Because that is so. so. true. Even today. Unmarried women so often tend to scorn men when it appears they're not wanted....but deep down, that's not usually how they genuinely feel. (Listen to my wise words. I know. I was one of them. At age twelve. Don't laugh.)

     Yes, I love that this movie empowers single women (none of that waiting for Prince Charming nonsense in these clever girls!!!), but also embraces the wonderful gift of marriage and romantic love. Millie and Beatrix (*cough* especially Millie) at first seem to reject any idea of husbands; they bond together and talk like they will be spinsters for the rest of her life. And then, when Beatrix tells Millie, as if embarrassed, that her brother proposed to her, Millie urges her to accept rather than the contrary. I love that scene so much. Beatrix is like, 'So you don't MIND?' And she says, 'You have a chance for love! Take it!' 

     IT'S JUST SO SWEET. I love their friendship.

     FIRST. LET ME TALK ABOUT HIS GHASTLY SIDEBURNS. This needs a proper rant right here. I was commenting on their atrocity throughout the movie (Emma and Sadie can vouchsafe to that) and before we started the review was like, 'I AM WRITING ABOUT HIS SIDEBURNS.' They are Ghaaaastly. How is he even accepted into society? How did people even come to the Christmas party at his house?

     (Sorry. I know. Looks ain't everything.) (But his looks really AREN'T everything.)

     Beatrix's parents are a study. As usual, her father is nice and her mother is not. (Were there any famous authors whose parents, both of them, approved of their work, I wonder?) I'm fond of Mr. Potter, despite his rather horrid mutton chops. I am not as fond of Mrs. Potter, who is a first-class snob and also happens to be played by Barbara Flynn whom I have a vendetta against left over from childhood and begun by the fact that she plays the mother of Horatio's undeserving wife in the last two Hornblower movies. (It's not Barbara Flynn's fault. I just hold on to my unreasonably prejudices anyway because I'm pigheaded and unreasonable.)

     Miss Potter's parents are an interesting couple. Mrs Potter is pretty nasty and does NOT take her daughter's art and talent seriously- (I mean really woman, just look at the way your eleven-year-old daughter draws a rabbit. BE IMPRESSED. NOW.) and Mr Potter also does not fully realise the extent of Beatrix' talent until she is a popular and published author. He is way nicer than Mrs Potter, though, and I just love it when he buys her book and gives her a proud daddy-hug.  

     Willie Heelis is Awesome with a capital A. I love the scene with little Beatrix and young Willie where she shows him her drawing of Jemima Puddleduck and they talk about life and what they think about it.....*ahem* (private joke). When I was younger and I watched this movie I thought young Willie Heelis was the biggest dreamboat ever. 

     (I still think he's cute.) 

     Older Willie Heelis is a fine, sturdy, dependable, kind person, and I love how he and Beatrix's friendship is rekindled when she comes back to the lake district. Oftentimes I don't like it when a character's spouse/fiance dies and then they go on to marry someone else...but in this case, I do. I wouldn't have wanted Beatrix to be lonely, and "Mr. Heelis" is a pretty great guy. They'd be happy together.

     Willie Heelis... ahhh. YES I LOVEEEE the scene when they are little kids; and they talk about Beatrix's characters in the rain. It's soooo cute and he's soo cute and she's sooo cute and they're sooo cute. It's at that moment that you start to fear that perhaps Norman Warne might not make it to the end anyway. I know, I know; I know what you're thinking: Beatrix and Norman are priceless together. (Because hey, Let Me Teach You How To Dance and All That.) But also, let's be honest here, I'm enormously glad that Beatrix found love again, and it feels so good that it's Willie.

     I love that Miss Potter is not a typical love story. It doesn't end with Lady and Man no. 1 ending up together. Yes, Lady loves Man no. 1., but she doesn't end up with him. This movie portrays real life in a way that other movies often don't. The movie spans a wide amount of years, obviously, but it shows us that one can get over sad times in our lives. That's what life is, you know - Ups and Downs - and Miss Potter shows all this in a beautiful and aching way. I'm glad she ended with Willie Heelis.

     WOW. That got deep.
     (I actually told her to say that. :-P)

     We love little Beatrix because she's perfectly adorable. Also because she's dreadfully creative and imagines her parents driving off in a pumpkin coach pulled by six white rabbits. 

     That's enough about little Beatrix. (Although yes'm, she's an adorable creature with a pathetically amazing drawing talent) but how about us talking about the dance scene?

     BLAHHH I just love this romance so much; it's just basically the cutest thing ever. I love that they are older than most movie couples (Hello, those sixteen-year-old heroines!) and I love that they're doing something 'scandalous' in the eyes of Beatrix's picky mother, but that it really is so beautifully innocent and sweet. It's Beatrix's first taste of romance; in her bedroom, in the arms of her almost-fiance... and he's singing for her. (To her, whatever.) I love the song; it's really simple, but it's also so twinkly and gorgeous and sweepy and swoopy AND ME LOVES.
     I love it too. Especially how Beatrix is so adorably awkward and won't look directly into his eyes...but I digress. I remember watching this movie when I was just a wee thing and sighing dreamily over this scene even then. :-)

     Everything about Miss Potter is timelessly lovely -- the music, the Victorian English setting, the darling characters, the lush green grasses of the lake district (and the MUSIC)....it's a movie that will always makes my heart sing, no matter how many times I watch it. It's a classic, in my book. It's something any period drama fan should watch, or any person who loves a good movie for that matter. (I'm overthinking this, clearly.) Point made: I love Miss Potter. It's one of my favorite movies of all time, and it was absolutely wonderful to watch it with my best friend for the first time. 

     Basically, there is nothing I dislike about this movie. Not a thing. And I'll leave you with that, after the following question: 

     Isn't this movie darling?!!!

     Yes. The correct answer is "yes".


  1. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    I love Beatrix Potter!! I'm so happy you guys got a chance to watch this movie together . . . it sounds like such a sweet, lovely, happy-and-sad kind of story. And it's got beautiful costumes and scenery--what's not to love?

    (Also, Emma, I really like your new header--simple but elegant. Very Jessica-approved. ;-) )

  2. Aw yes! Miss Potter is probably my mostest favoritist Period Dramas EVERRRR! <3
    I've watched it so much, I practically have the whole "You don't have any friends" scene memorized... ;)
    So glad there are others out there who love Miss Potter! :D
    (And yes, poor Norman really needs his mustache on the front cover!)

  3. This movie is exquisite! :D albeit so very ugly sobbing sad!

  4. I like Norman's mustache too, Naomi. We are agreed. :D

    Goodness, yes, it always makes me feel more creative. That movie just DOES something to you.

    Dear Miss Potter, I love her to bits. :) She's not afraid to be different, she's not scared to be herself, and that was always something I looked up to in her. She's such an interesting person! (Out of anybody in history, I chose to do a 3 paragraph essay on HER. That's got say something, right? ;))

    Bald lady, Naomi? She isn't BALD. She just... um... has a bad sense of hair styling. :P I thought she was a remarkably obliging chaperon, haha. Not that I'd want her for mine. *snort*

    NORMAN WARNE. OH, MY HEAAART. He's so... oh, gosh, I don't know, but I just love him! <3 He's so innocent and well meaning and kind and awkward and fun and altogether just a DARLING. (*mumbles* I also kind of like Ewan McGregor in general...) And yes, his name always makes me smile with recognition. (Another reason I always liked Norman Warne was because he shares his name with a very, very close relative of mine. ;))

    I have seen Miss Potter definitely more than 3 times, and I cry more every time. :P His death just stabs me right in the heart... (eww that actually sounds kinda gross.)

    Haha, your part, Emma (this one: "And then she'll go and do something amazing and you'll want to shake your fist in triumph and shout, "YEAH BEATRIX!"") made me laugh. I don't know why, I guess it was just too relatable. ;)

    Millie Warne has got to be one of my favourite characters! (Emily Watson, rather, has got to be one of my favourite actresses! She always plays the HILARIOUS ones. Obviously those are my favourites. Those and the swoony ones. *ahem*)

    Heck, yes! I always was greatly disgusted with the father's side burns. *shudder* Imagine trying to hug him - it would tickle so!

    I always loved Barbara Flynn because she narrated a tape about elephants (called "The Large Family") which is terribly funny and I highly recommend it. ;D

    Yes, I always thought young Heelis was such a dreamboat, too. (I was always sliiightly disappointed, seeing him when he was older.) Norman was her perfect match, but still, I'm happy she got William, and he WAS a jolly nice old chap. (In my essay about her, I wrote about Beatrix's childhood, her life spent with Norman, and her life spent with William, so it was tremendously interesting to read more about what they were REALLY like!)

    Uhuh. Amen. I love the fact that Miss Potter isn't your typical love story - it's REAL. Achingly beautiful is the perfect way to describe it. By the way, did you notice when you said that life was Ups and Downs that the dad in this movie was the same actor who had the line 'ups and downs, Mr. Clennam' in Little Dorrit? Or maybe you did and I'm just a little slow. That'd probably be right. ;P

    Haha, Naomi, you're practically saying, "Yes, yes, alright - young Beatrix WAS darling, but LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT REALLY DARLING ROMANTIC DANCING SCENE!" ;) I love that scene to bits. I love the song. I sing it all the time and I want to learn a snazzy version we have of it on the piano. It's so cute how Beatrix doesn't even properly touch him (look at how she has her hands)! They're so adorable together. <3

    Isn't this movie darling?

    My answer: ISN'T IT EVER!!!

    ~Miss Meg

    P.S. I'm now dying to take a peak at your paintings. ;P Don't worry, nothing can be as bad as mine, ha! (And it's especially embarrassing because my mother and sisters are SUCH artists...)

    I'm also dying to know what your other 'best compliment' is.
    Clearly, I need to get a hold of my curiosity.

  5. I've never seen Miss Potter, but it sounds adorable!! Love reading these two-way posts from both of you :) they are so sweet and just make my heart all warm and happy. :) so so glad you're having a good time!

  6. Ooooh! I LOVE this post! Wonderful review, girls! This movie is SO good!

    Just a few random observations.
    1. The lack of a mustache for Norman Warn on the cover of the DVD. *nods head* Exactly. What was up with that??
    2. Beatrix and Norman are ADORABLE together! Both so incredibly sweet. I love it when she says "yes" and you can see the overwhelming relief and excitement written all over his face...and yet, poor guy, he can't even say anything because her parents are standing right there and it's time for him to leave. :(
    3. 'You have a chance for love! Take it!' Oh! I love, love, love that part! Millie and Beatrix's friendship is the best!
    4. THE SIDEBURNS! HAHAHA! I agree, Naomi, they are pretty terrible. Yes, indeed. ;)
    5. THE DANCE SCENE! Awwwww. Words fail me.
    6. I was extremely happy to find out that Beatrix eventually married Willie Heelis, because I was afraid it was going to be one of those movies where the heroine never gets over her first love, but instead lives alone cherishing his memory and mourning for what she's lost, and yeah...that's just rather depressing to me. Because life really does go on, and I think it's much more realistic that she continued to have a life, and a happy one, too. (I'm still sad that Norman died, though. But Willie is very sweet, as well. I mean, really! He TALKS to her pictures like she does! That's adorable.)

    Anyway, all that to say! I love this movie. It's sad, but it has an incredibly happy feeling, too. It's an excellent bit of story-telling. :)

    ~Miss March

  7. I'm sorry this is so shamefully later, but all I can say is I love this movie and you two made the most PERFECT review of it, ever!!!


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