Bright Star

Rated PG-13 119 min. 2009

Jane Campion’s Bright Star is a long, lingering soak in just this kind of delicately stated passion. A celebrated return to form and a Golden Palm nominee at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, Bright Star recaptures some of the luster Campion has lost in the period following The Piano. Heady, gorgeous, and saturated with feeling, Bright Star centers on the prolonged, tortured, but also blissful love affair between the 19th century romantic poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and the young woman, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) he loved. Some will instantly write off Bright Star — as films like The Hours or La Vie En Rose have been dismissed in certain circles — as chick flick fare. The suspicion that greets films centered on relationships and complicated female characters shows our deep cultural suspicion of anything smacking of tenderness and that most derided of categories, romance. It’s a pity, because, like other films in the funky, idiosyncratic Campion repertoire, Bright Star is quietly subversive stuff. It’s a film that holds love above reason, society, and an economic system where men are the purse holders and women the prize. Campion quietly, unobtrusively knocks down conventions of the bodice-ripping period piece. Bright Star nearly takes your breath away.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.brightstar-movie.com

Director: Jane Campion

Writer: Jane Campion

Producer: Jan Chapman Films

Cast: Paul Schneider, Abbie Cornish, Thomas Sangster, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Samuel Barnett, Samuel Roukin, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Sebastian Armesto and Antonia Campbell-Hughes

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Bright Star

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