One Of The Year's Best: Jane Campion's Bright Star!

Opening this week is one of the year's best films, Bright Star. Jane Campion’s (The Piano) newest is an exquisitely constructed, lushly romantic tale of the passionate love between 23-year-old poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and the girl that lived next door to him while he was in London in 1818 -- Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Fanny, slavishly devoted to fashion, wit, and dances, was first put-off by the brooding, handsome, serious poet, but soon grows to adore him. It’s hard to explain to modern audiences this kind of chaste but powerful relationship -- made up of letters, stolen kisses, and lying in beds pining for one another with a wall separating the two. But then again, imagine with sadness a future movie about a love affair constructed from saved text-messages. Campion conjures on film the pleasures, excitements, and extravagant mysteries of words. Fanny is a perfect Campion heroine. Headstrong, secure in her own skin, but leading with her heart.

Subscribe to Get More