Review of "Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story" on Lifetime From The TV MegaSite
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"Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story" review by Suzanne
Premieres Monday, July 18 at 8:00pm ET/PT on Lifetime

This is probably the best movie I've ever seen on Lifetime, and I predict that it will have the highest ratings they've ever had (simply from the Harry Potter link if nothing else).  It is the story of J.K. Rowling, who created the Harry Potter books. It is somewhat of a rags-to-riches story (more on that later). From what I have read on websites about her, it seems fairly accurate.

It is an unauthorized autobiography, so they may have changed a few things or taken liberties with a few facts, like most movies do. They don't seem to be any important facts, though. I kind of wish the movie had been longer because they skip from her getting her first book published to being at the first movie premiere. She suddenly has a fiance, and they don't tell us anything about him. I would have liked to have seen more.

Otherwise, it's really good. I had read an article about Rowling years ago. They made a big deal in the article about how she had been a welfare mother before she became a rich author. Of course, even at that time, I remember reading how she came from a middle class family with two loving parents, and she got straight A's in school, and she went to Exeter and graduated. So even if your life takes a bad turn after all that, chances are that you will still succeed (albeit not necessarily as high as she did).  She is not your typical "welfare mother" by any stretch of the imagination (even hers).

Still, it's a very intriguing and uplifting story, and they did it well. The movie stars Poppy Montgomery, who is best known for the TV show "Without a Trace". She also stars in the new CBS show "Unforgettable" this Fall. She is a really good actress, and she plays a convincing Rowling, right down to the accent.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you should enjoy this story. There are even glimpses here and there of some magical Potter elements.  It is well worth watching, even if it is mostly about Muggles.

MORE INFO

Lifetime Television's Original Movie, Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story starring Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable, Without a Trace), will premiere on Monday, July 18, at 8:00pm ET/PT.

The unauthorized biopic, based on a biography by Sean Smith, chronicles the British author's struggles from single mother on welfare to become one of the world's wealthiest women. The movie starts with J.K. Rowling's (Poppy Montgomery) modest upbringing and follows her rise to fame and wealth as the author of the beloved Harry Potter children's books, with over 400 million copies sold across the globe resulting in a billion-dollar film franchise. FULL PRESS RELEASE:

POPPY MONTGOMERY STARS IN LIFETIME ORIGINAL MOVIE MAGIC BEYOND WORDS: THE J.K. ROWLING STORY

Unauthorized Biopic Chronicles British Author’s Struggle from Single Mother on Welfare to Become One of the World’s Wealthiest Women

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 10, 2011) – Poppy Montgomery (Unforgettable, Without a Trace) will star in the Lifetime Original Movie Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story. Based on a true story, the movie starts with British writer J.K. Rowling’s modest upbringing and stint on welfare, and follows her rise to fame and wealth as the author of the beloved Harry Potter children’s books. The J.K Rowling Story will premiere Monday, July 18 at 8:00pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

ABOUT MAGIC BEYOND WORDS: THE J.K. ROWLING STORY

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story dramatizes the British author’s struggle to bring the beloved wizard fantasy of Harry Potter to life as a single mother on welfare and become one of the world’s wealthiest women, with more than 400 million copies of her visionary books sold across the globe resulting in a billion-dollar film franchise. The film is an inspiring look at a woman’s rise to become one of the most influential writers ever – from her humble beginnings as an imaginative young girl and awkward teenager to the devastating loss of her mother and the genesis of the Harry Potter phenomenon in her early twenties. The rags-to-riches tale also follows Rowling’s tumultuous first marriage, becoming a mother, her divorce, and the dark days of living on government assistance while publisher after publisher passed on her first novel…before it became an international best-seller and solidified Rowling’s rightful place in literary and cultural history.

ABOUT POPPY MONTGOMERY

Poppy Montgomery will star in Unforgettable this fall on CBS, as a former police detective who possesses a rare condition that allows her to remember everything – every conversation, moment of joy and heartache forever embedded in her mind. For seven seasons, Montgomery graced the small screen as FBI agent Samantha Spade in the CBS hit drama Without a Trace, alongside Anthony La Paglia, Marianne Jean Baptiste, Eric Close and Enrique Murciano. Montgomery received critical acclaim for her edgy breakout performance as Marilyn Monroe in the 2001 CBS movie Blonde. Montgomery recently starred in the Lifetime Original Movies Lying to be Perfect and Murder in the Hamptons. Additionally, she starred in the CBS telefilms Snow Wonder and Raising Waylon. Some of Montgomery’s feature credits include the independent film 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and Between, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

A native of Sydney, Montgomery moved to Los Angeles at 18 with a copy of the book How to Make it in Hollywood. Having read in the book about Julia Roberts’ first manager, she tracked him down and, after much persistence, he finally agreed to introduce her to an agent. Soon after, Montgomery was guest-starring in NYPD Blue and Party of Five. Following this success, she was cast in the Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz’s drama series Relativity and then in the Barry Levinson cop series The Beat.

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story is produced by Mediamax Inc. and Strange Magic Productions Inc. for Lifetime Television. Orly Adelson (The Good Witch), Jonathan Eskenas (Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal), Steve Stabler (Dumb and Dumber) and P. Jayakumar (Freefonix) are executive producers. Karine Martin (The Moth Diaries) and Ronald Gilbert (The Twilight Zone) serve as producers. Emmy® Award-winner Paul A. Kaufman (Sins of the Mother) directed and executive produced from a script written by Jeffrey Berman (Naught for Hire) and Tony Caballero Crime Stalk), based on a biography by Sean Smith.

ABOUT LIFETIME NETWORKS

Lifetime Networks is a diverse, multi-media company, committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming that celebrates, entertains and supports women. Through its award-winning public affairs initiatives, the Company also advocates a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television®, Lifetime Movie Network®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ (which includes myLifetime.com, LMN.tv, Lifetime Games, Roiworld.com, DressUpChallenge.com, MothersClick.com and LifetimeMoms.com) are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A&E Television Networks, LLC. A&E Television Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal.

CREDITS

Produced By

Mediamax Inc. and Strange Magic Productions Inc. for Lifetime Television

THE CAST

Joanne Rowling POPPY MONTGOMERY

Diane Rowling EMILY HOLMES

Jorge ANTONIO CUPO

Anne Rowling JANET KIDDER

Joanne Rowling (17) MADISON DESJARLAIS

Christopher Little ANDY MATON

Joanne Rowling (8) AISLYN WATSON

Aine MARIE WEST

Jill LISA NORTON

Pete Rowling PAUL MCGILLION

Diane Rowling (13-15) SARAH DESJARDINS

Bryony CHRISTINE CHATELAIN

Sean WESLEY MACINNES

Mrs. Morgan PATTI ALLAN

Dr. Neil Murray GREIGH LASCHUK

PRODUCTION

Executive Producer KARINE MARTIN

Executive Producer PAUL A. KAUFMAN

Executive Producer JEAN-FRANCOIS DORAY

Executive Producer LOUIS-SIMON MENARD

Executive Producer ORLY ADELSON

Executive Producer JONATHAN ESKENAS

Executive Producer P. JAYAKUMAR

Executive Producer STEVE STABLER

Producer R.J. GILBERT

Director PAUL A. KAUFMAN

Based on the book by SEAN SMITH

Written by JEFFREY BERMAN, TONY CABALLERO

Director of Photography MATHIAS HERNDL asc

Production Designer PAUL JOYAL

Editor LISA BINKLEY

Composer JEFF TOYNE

Casting JACKIE LIND

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Updated 6/25/11 

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