Miss Potter

Anthony Lane didn’t like it. Poor chap. I enjoyed it greatly, and laughed a lot during it. Lane’s review is good in parts, though. For example:

We begin with Miss Potter pitching Peter Rabbit to publishers, one of whom remarks, out of her hearing, “That book won’t sell ten copies.” (This is known as the ironical-historical mode, inviting the audience to smirk at the blindness of the past.) Nevertheless, the company, Frederick Warne, agrees to publish, if only to give Norman Warne (Ewan McGregor), the baby of the family, something to do with his time. Why, one must ask, did McGregor take this part? I can only imagine that he received the script one morning, after a late night, saw the words “Beatrix Potter,” assumed that he was being offered the role of his namesake, Mr. McGregor, fancied himself in a long white beard running past cabbages with a rake, mouthing Scotch oaths at departing vermin, called his agent to accept, and went back to bed. Not until later did he realize that he would be required to utter the line, “We shall give them a bunny book to conjure with.”

Only one man on earth can speak those words with a straight face, and that is Hugh Hefner. Needless to say, McGregor takes emergency precautions, appearing throughout in a mustache the size of a yew hedge, and thus defying us to work out whether his face is straight or not…