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Posts Tagged ‘what to watch during a pandemic’

Another one of my go-to movies is Miss Potter.

This 2006 film tells the bittersweet story of Beatrix Potter (played by Renee Zellweger) and the challenges she faces getting her children’s books (Peter Rabbit et al!) published  at the turn of the last century, when women just didn’t do such things.

No indeed, women instead must get married and despite Mrs. Potter’s best efforts to introduce her daughter to the right sort of suitor, Miss Potter says, ” I didn’t want to be marrying a man simply because he was rich enough to take care of me!” Then she met Norman Warne a publisher, and someone who connects with and appreciates Miss Potter. Warne is played by Mr. McGregor … a little Peter Rabbit inside joke … that would be Ewan McGregor.

Zellweger’s charming vulnerability is always a pleasure to watch and she does not disappoint in balancing the tenacity with the loneliness of her character, who easily wins our hearts. The costumes, by three-time Academy Award winner Anthony Powell, are an array of Edwardian treats: gored skirts paired with shirtwaists (button down blouses), high collars, belts, and small hats. Tailor-mades too, which were women’s suits made by tailors not seamstresses, who until the 1890s had made all women’s clothing. The men don three piece suits, detachable collars, and ties! I very much enjoy the London street scenes of the early 20th century as well as some beautiful countryside scenes.

There’s a bit of sadness in Miss Potter, but nothing dark and of course it ends on a hopeful note. “Pleasant and unadventurous” is what one reviewer said about this film and funny enough, that’s just my cup of tea right now.

 

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Jennifer Garner and Judy Greer in 13 Going on 30.

During this pandemic I find I want lighter entertainment. One of my favorite go-to movies is 13 Going on 30, which came out in 2004.

Jennifer Garner does a really nice job playing 13-year-old Genna, who has magically been granted her birthday wish and is suddenly “30, flirty, and thriving.”

Genna wakes up and finds she has everything she wanted: she’s a successful fashion magazine editor, she’s popular, she has a stunning wardrobe, and she’s all grown up! But she soon realizes that adult life is not so perfect.

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This is a sweet film, funny and lighthearted. Garner is very watchable – she really tapped in to all the innocence and vulnerability of a young teenager and she does some excellent slapstick comedy. Mark Ruffalo with his boyish charm plays her love interest and Judy Greer plays a convincing bratty frenemy.

The early aughts fashions are fun, but the real fun is a peek back at teenage 80s fashion and music (Pat Benatar, Rick Springfield). Also, there are many great shots of New York City.

13 Going on 30 is a total escape film that makes me smile and recently lifted my pandemic-stricken spirits.

 

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