Sunday, January 14, 2007

Miss Potter

We went to see said film this evening at Salisbury. Miss Renée Zellweger managed to do that gloopy smile thing quite often. The tale was a largely linear narrative of a talented and intelligent woman (Beatrix Potter) set in the first decade of the twentieth century. Her conventional, society-focused mother has been trying to marry her off to a succession of rich/titled dunderheads. She won't play ball. Her publisher by contrast is smart, empathic and gentle ... but by definition a tradesman. Cue parental disapproval to marriage but she wins a delayed permission ... only to have him die on her. But we all know the story.

Driving home, Clare was debating Beatrix Potter vs. Jane Austen. There are plenty of similarities: smart women trying to do their thing in a rigidly circumscribed man's world. Miss Potter had more social room to breathe and made more money, which as always bought her independence.

Clare pointed out that Beatrix was basically an illustrator/painter, and the stories were just what you had to do as a linking narrative between pictures. And she thought that Jane Austen was scarier.