×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Miss Potter

The Contenders

Release: Dec. 29

Distributor: Weinstein Co./MGM

Oscar Alums: Renee Zellweger (supporting actress, “Cold Mountain”), Anthony Powell (costume design, “Tess,” “Death on the Nile,” “Travels With My Aunt”), Martin Childs (art direction, “Shakespeare in Love”)

“Miss Potter” has a lot in common with 2003’s J.M. Barrie-inspired “Finding Neverland”: It’s about a turn-of-the-century British children’s author whose most famous character is called Peter, it stars Acad faves and the plot involves a tragic loss.

“Neverland” was nominated for seven statuettes, including picture and actor, while taking home just one, for original score.

Somewhat similar to the incorporation of Barrie’s book characters in “Neverland,” Beatrix Potter’s illustrations — Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck included — come to life on screen in sequences interwoven with the live-action drama.

Acad members will likely recall Chris Noonan’s last helming effort, 1995’s “Babe,” which also involved talking animals. Both pics have a sweetness that never gets sappy.

The Aussie, who scored director and screenplay noms (the latter shared with George Miller) for “Babe,” hadn’t found the right fit for his follow-up until “Miss Potter.”

This time, script was by Tony winner Richard Maltby Jr.

Renee Zellweger’s perf as Potter is endearing and recalls her more contempo work in the “Bridget Jones” movies. (She was nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for the first “Jones” pic.) The Potter role is more serious, though not without levity, in the tradition of Jane Austen characters.

Never-nommed Ewan McGregor, in heavy mustache, puts in solid work as Potter’s determined publisher and suitor Norman Warne. Two-time Oscar nominee Emily Watson (“Breaking the Waves,” “Hilary and Jackie”) makes another memorable supporting appearance as Norman’s sister Millie.

Likely to strike a chord with Acad voters are the themes of an artist struggling against all odds and Potter’s conservationist bent (she amassed 4,000 acres of farmland, saving it from developers, and later bequeathed it to the British people.)

Among the tech accomplishments that could make it into the kudo fray is the work of costume designer and Oscar veteran Anthony Powell, Oscar-winning production designer Martin Childs and cinematographer Andrew Dunn, who lensed “The Madness of King George.” Editor Robin Sales also could get attention for moving the 92-minute pic along briskly and with great joy.

More Film

  • Johnny BananasMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    'The Challenge' Veteran Crashes MTV Awards Acceptance Speech; Cut From Broadcast

    Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio pulled a Kanye West at Saturday’s taping of the MTV Movie & TV awards when “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” won over “The Challenge” in the Reality Royalty category. However, viewers didn’t get to see it. Producers of the show cut out Devenanzio’s speech from Monday’s airing, after the reality star took [...]

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards are returning to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations are front runners “Avengers: Endgame” and “Game of Thrones” with four nominations apiece, as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG,” which scored another four nods. This year’s show also [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

  • Awkwafina Oscars 2019

    Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde Among Maui Film Festival Honorees

    Held in beautiful Wailea, Hawaii, the 2019 Maui Film Festival honored Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Gina Rodriguez, Maya Erskine and Joe Manganiello with awards at this year’s festival running June 12-16. In addition to screening films and hosting several food and culture events, the film fest gave out awards to the actors for their [...]

  • Dee Rees

    Dee Rees Directing 'Kyd's Exquisite Follies' Movie Musical

    “Mudbound” director Dee Rees will direct independent movie musical fantasy “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” from her own script. “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” will be produced by Cassian Elwes, one of the “Mudbound” producers. Santigold is set to compose the music, with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic creating the film’s visual effects. Endeavor Content is repping the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content