Author J. K. Rowling is one of the most successful writers in the world today, and her "Harry Potter" series of books has made her one of the world's richest people. Yet little is known of her background. She seemingly came out of obscurity to create the "Potter" series and in turn gain fame and fortune. Lifetime Television plans to remedy this lack of information with its original film, "Magic Beyond Words: The J. K. Rowling Story."
Poppy Montgomery of "Without a Trace" fame plays Rowling and has her look down, as well as her accent. One of the most striking aspects of the film is the relationship between Rowling and her mother Anne (Janet Kidder). When Rowling was a teenager, her mother was diagnosed with MS and subsequently died before any of Rowling's literary success occurred.
Following a brief marriage, Rowling found herself a single mother in England and was forced to take government subsidies in order to provide for herself and her daughter. At this time she returned to work on a novel about a boy named Harry Potter.
Because of a general lack of knowledge by the public about Rowling's background, this movie should draw a lot of interest. I was particularly surprised to learn that Rowling does not rhyme with "cow-ling"; it's pronounced "rolling." I do wish the movie had given more information about her future husband. The film ends with them being engaged.
Montgomery is quite good as Rowling. She definitely looks like her and manages to create a bond between her character and the audience. Kidder is also impressive as Anne, the emotional center of the story. Kidder comes from an acting family, as she is Margot Kidder's niece, and the family resemblance is striking.
J. K. Rowling's story is truly a "rags to riches" one and should be inspiring to any and all aspiring writers. At times she appears to be completely overwhelmed by her success, and the way the story evolves that aspect of her life is completely believable. She did hit a game-winning home run her first time up to bat.
If you are interested in the woman behind the "Harry Potter" novels, then this movie is a great place to learn some of the basic facts. Poppy Montgomery takes you into the early life of Jo Rowling and lets you see her evolution into J. K. Rowling.
"Magic Beyond Words: The J. K. Rowling Story" premieres on Lifetime, Monday, July 18 at 8 p.m.