Monday, April 12, 2010

Bright Star, the Film

I had suspected another luke-warm costume romance, but was gob-smacked instead by this wonderful offering from Jane Campion - I should have had faith!

Bright Star (2009) is is based on John Keats' young romance with Fanny Brawne, who inspired the following sonnet:

Bright Star (1838)
Bright star! would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.

Abbie Cornish plays a real young woman, prickly, romantic and made strong by her convictions and love for the poet, played to perfection by Ben Whishaw. Kerry Fox is Fanny's loving and sympathetic mother, in a time and society which dictated she should have been less accommodating to young love and more steadfast in her ambitions for her clever, beautiful daughter.

If you're up for a change from the saccharine and predictable prettiness of most costume romances, try the shining and bewitching Bright Star.

*** SPOILER ALERT (in case you're not up on Keats' story)
You'll also witness a scene of grief quite heart-breakingly believeable. Keep a hankie on stand by.

Thanks for the recommendation, Mr. W!


Hilarywho said...

I had this on my list of must sees when it was here at our local art theater, but missed it. Sounds great, I'll have to rent it. Thanks for the review!

Blog Princess G said...

I know you're a keen film-watcher so I'd love to know what you think!

willow said...

Hey, I have a review all ready to post later this week, too! I put off seeing it, as well, but ending up loving it. Jane Campion is my hero. I should have known.

Blog Princess G said...

Willow: I shall look for your review!