Saturday, 20 December 2014

Film Review: Bright Star

Film: Bright Star

Director: Jane Campion

Starring: Ben Whishaw as John Keats
                    Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne
                    Paul Schneider as Charles Brown
                    Kerry Fox as Fanny's mother
                    Thomas Sangster as Samuel Brawne

Synopsis: The film is based on the last three years of the life of John Keats and his romantic relationship with Fanny Brawne. It is named after a sonnet written by Keats to Brawne.

Review: Perhaps one of the most moving films I have watched recently, Bright Star made me cringe, smile, laugh and teary eyed within its 119 minutes. The film is set in 1818, Hampstead and revolves around the heart-wrenching and impossible romance between John Keats, a poor, rather unpopular poet and Fanny Brawne, the eldest daughter of a widow with a talent for sewing. Fanny's younger siblings obediently follow her around in her endeavours to gain Keats' attention however her flirtatous nature does not sit well with Mr. Brown, Keat's writing associate. Soon, it becomes evident that the pair are deeply in love with each other and cannot be separated even by great distances. Inevitably, Keats becomes ill and dies, leaving Fanny in a state of distress and despair. The film ends with Fanny walking the path that she and her lover had walked many times, reciting the sonnet he had written for her: "Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art..."

Keats died at 25, believing he was a failure. Ironically, today he is recognised as one of the most influential Romantic poets and one of the most beloved of all English poets. Unfortunately, it seems that many of the most renowned composers today were only properly acknowledged after their death.

On a brighter note, did you know that Abbie Cornish, the actress who plays Fanny Brawne in Bright Star is Australian? I had no idea, her English accent is on point in the film!


  1. I was so bored towards the starting of this movie but I'm glad I got through the starting 20-30 minutes because after that the movie got so much better and beautiful :D
    Most famous poets got famous after they died..ironic isn't it!?

    Neal Kind
    Daily Diaries

  2. The beginning of the movie...the music. It's stuck in my head! It's a very touching movie, indeed and the poems written by John Keats are really incredible! :)