Director – Jane Campion – 2009 – UK – Cert. PG – 119m
The early nineteenth century romance between prospectless young poet John Keats and the younger Fanny Brawne – in cinemas from Friday, November 6th 2009
Bright Star‘s title comes from an 1819 love poem written by 23-year-old John Keats for 18-year-old Fanny Brawne, his next door neighbour. The poet (historical spoiler coming) contracted tuberculosis and died at the tender age of 25, before the couple could be married. Brawne subsequently mourned him for several years.
As you might expect from a filmography including both The Piano and In The Cut, Jane Campion is never one to match standard expectations and often overturns them to advantage.
There is scarce little (verbal) poetry here either spoken by the actors onscreen or in voice-over. The source materials are Andrew Motion’s biography Keats and the poems themselves. Reading Motion’s book, Campion was very taken with his material on the love relationship between the poet and Brawne and thought there could be a film there. Without any real idea as to how such a film would work at the time. She eventually opted for telling the couple’s story through the eyes of the girl.… Read the rest