Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bright Star

John Keats was a wonderful romantic poet, and this beautifully crafted film brings him to life. Directed by Jane Campion, it stars, in my opinion, one of the best young actors the UK has to offer, Ben Whishaw. He is almost more Keatsian than Keats himself with his starved good looks, raffish hair and threadbare clothes. It is the story of the last two years of Keats'life and the inspiration he draws from the love of Fannie Brawne. Fannie portrayed by Abbie Cornish, who until now hasn't really had much chance to spread her acting wings. Well, she does in this one, and she flies. Fannie is an independant young woman who designs the most beautiful clothes, (the costumes are divine) and she brings a real and true quality to this feisty woman. Obviously, it's a very sad story but surprisingly upbeat and fun. The romance is true, rather than the fluttering eyelids and flowery words of some period dramas. There is a stellar support cast, and the music is just perfect as it's very sparse and the music there is is sent from heaven in the form of Mozart sung by a choir, including the vocally competent Mr Whishaw. Like many other stories of centuries past, it echos how bound people were by class and substance, which makes it all the more heart-breaking for the doomed couple. I can't recommend this film highly enough, but please be warned, you will need to have no shame and plenty of tissues for the last ten minutes, and the closing credits music and voice-over is one of the most powerful I have witnessed. BRIGHT STAR: This movie couldn't have been given a better title, a celestial treat for anyone who has ever loved. 9/10


  1. I cannot wait to see this film, especially after this review! My sister saw it a while back & adored it - good enough for me, but this has set the seal on it! I'll comment when I've seen it xox Rachel

  2. I saw the movie last night, and just had to write to agree with your excellent review. Such a moving, beautiful & powerful film. The other thing that really came across for me was that, because there was no background music, it made me realise how quiet the world must have been then. No music unless somebody made it, no mechanical sounds of any kind.So different to today's cacophony - no silence anywhere now! A truly wonderful movie xox Rachel