Magic Beyond Words

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Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
Genre Biography
Written by Jeffrey Berman
Tony Caballero
Directed by Paul A. Kaufman
Starring Poppy Montgomery
Emily Holmes
Janet Kidder
Paul McGillion
Antonio Cupo
Theme music composer Jeff Toyne
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Cinematography Mathias Herndl
Editor(s) Lisa Binkley
Running time 90 minutes
Distributor Lifetime
Original network Lifetime
Original release
  • July 18, 2011 (2011-07-18)

Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story is a made-for-TV film starring actress Poppy Montgomery. It is based on the book J.K. Rowling A Biography, by Sean Smith, detailing the journey of struggling single mother J. K. Rowling, her bid to become a published author, and her rise to fame that followed the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The film, shot in British Columbia, Canada, aired on Lifetime on July 18, 2011.

The production was criticized for being too lacklustre, possibly because Rowling had no say in the product. It does shed some light on her personal life and featured scenes such as her highly abusive first husband and the death of her mother.

Poppy Montgomery reportedly wore blue contact lenses to play the role of the highly influential author.

Though the British accents are convincing, the movie is clearly made for a US audience; Rowling's agent advises her to find an "attorney" (not a solicitor) and her father advises her to change her "major" (rather than her "subject").


Poppy Montgomery as Joanne "J.K." Rowling
Emily Holmes as Diane Rowling
Janet Kidder as Anne Rowling
Paul McGillion as Peter Rowling
Antonio Cupo as Jorge Arantes


The film won Canadian Screen Awards 2013 in category for Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV Film. Poppy Montgomery was also nominated in category for Lead actress in television film or miniseries but she lost to Emily Osment.

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