CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

"Bright Star" burns the fastest

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever"
John Keats

For a movie about the Romantic Poets that one is forced to study in high school and college, **Bright Star** fufills ticket buyers expectations. The film is full of tea, hoop skirts and English countrysides, but writer/director Jane Campion communicates a contemporary feeling about the life and times of poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw), his girlfriend and seamstress Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) and his financial companion and sometime poet Charles Armitage Brown (Paul Schneider).

While not necessarily a love triangle, these three individuals provide contrasting perspectives. The highbrow Brown treats Brawne with sarcastic contempt until she retaliates with the comment;
"Stitching is more important than writing because I can make money for it."

In contrast to Brown, Brawne feels an attraction to the sickly Keats, who has become a hit in literary circles for his poem "Endymion." As Brawn helps Keats overcome his shyness, the poet teaches poetry clinics to the neighborhood children. The children and Miss Brawne learn that a poem needs understanding of all the senses. From her personal experiences with Keats, Brawne learns that art and craft can be one of the best ways to channel grief.

With a running time of approximately two hours, **Bright Star** seems just long enough to spark an interest in the poetry of John Keats. A talkative movie, the narrative moves at a brisk pace with doses of humor. This is no **Masterpiece Theatre** with British actors in love with the sound of their own voices, **Bright Star* features realistic performances. The young Ben Whishaw is as endearing as a Jonas Brother. As delightful as Abbie Cornish's performance is, it is Paul Schneider who gives a trans-formative performance of a crass man who is made vulnerable.

**Bright Star** will be a film that will be talked about come Oscar time in 2010.

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