Information Exchange => Movie Reviews => Topic started by: ER on September 10, 2017, 01:23:54 PM

Title: Bright Star (2009)
Post by: ER on September 10, 2017, 01:23:54 PM
A production like this goes a long way toward restoring my faith in what film as a medium can achieve. As an antidote to the usual bilge the motion picture industry has cranked out in the last decade and a half, I wish there were more films like 2009's Bright Star to balance the scales. As it is, subject matter like the shared love of a young woman and a dying poet intimidates far too many people to the point Bright Star been unjustly shunned by segments of the general public who would likely find it deeply moving but instead fear it would be boring, or just not for them.

It is almost inexpressibly touching to see Fanny Brawne and John Keats remembered in a movie that tells their tragic story, and Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish more than earned their paychecks in Jane Campion's slow-moving but never dull re-telling of a love the world very nearly never knew about at all. (Read up on how Miss Brawne, a worthy figure in her own right, kept her secret for nearly half a century.)

I have not read Andrew Motion's biography upon which this movie is based, and have held off mainly because I care so much about Bright Star that should the source material and film contradict one another, I don't want to risk the influence that might have on my regard.

Bright Star makes full use of the painful tragedy that separated its main characters in real life, but never strays into the maudlin as it would have been all too easy to do. It's also worth heaping praise onto Campion and Motion for giving us a John Keats who displayed a wide range of feelings, even cheerful humor, freeing us from yet another depiction of him as a sickly, serious-minded, moribund young man, insubstantial as a will oí wisp, half in the grave before his heart even stopped beating. (ďHere lies one whose name was writ in waterÖ.Ē) Artistic license aside, this surely is closer to the truth of what these two bright stars shared than anything thatís ever previously been filmed.

Itís a shame more people today don't read the poetry of the Romantics, particularly John Keats, because their work was the high point of an age that itself represented the English language at its most eloquent. And itís also a shame a masterpiece like Bright Star isnít better known than it is.

Title: Re: Bright Star (2009)
Post by: Rev. Powell on September 10, 2017, 01:50:02 PM
My review at the time was a simple "sensitive poets take FOREVER to die from consumption."  :tongueout:

Vive la difference! I'd rather read the poems, which I do love.

Title: Re: Bright Star (2009)
Post by: ER on September 11, 2017, 07:44:33 AM
Yes, but you're succinct and I never use one word when five will do as well.  :wink: