- Actors: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Kerry Fox
- Directors: Jane Campion
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Audio Description: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: PG
- Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
- DVD Release Date: 8 Mar. 2010
- Run Time: 119 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B002VBXPL2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,584 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Bright Star [DVD]
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Drama written and directed by the Oscar-winning Jane Campion about the relationship between 19th century poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and fashion student Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Their romance begins slowly but soon the young couple's feelings intensify as Fanny helps John care for his sick younger brother and John then agrees to teach Fanny about poetry. Fanny's mother (Kerry Fox) and John's best friend, Charles (Paul Schneider), both unhappy with the relationship for their own reasons, are unable to stop them growing closer to each other. Tragedy, however, lurks on the horizon.
Add Jane Campion's rich, sensuous, quietly thrilling Bright Star to the very short list of admirable films about writers. In this case the writer is John Keats (Ben Whishaw), the Romantic poet who died at age 25 believing himself a failure. The movie, set during his last several years, focuses on his playful friendship with and evolving love for Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), the independent-minded young woman who lived next door in Hampstead Village and was, in her own fashion, an artistic spirit. Completing an ineffably fraught constellation--not exactly a romantic triangle--is Keats's host Charles Armitage Brown (Paul Schneider), who loves, esteems, and regards Keats with both pride and envy, and engages in an unstated rivalry for Fanny. All three performances are superb, with Whishaw adding to his gallery of artist figures (the olfactorily obsessed murderer in Perfume, one of the Bob Dylans in I'm Not There), and Cornish and Schneider taking top acting honours for 2009. As in Campion's The Piano, others are party to the central story, and they have identities, personalities, and claims to intelligence and understanding that we appreciate without having it announced in dialogue. Kerry Fox (redheaded wild girl of Campion's An Angel at My Table nearly two decades ago) evokes Fanny's mother with a few brushstrokes, and Fanny's young sister and brother are watchful presences and de facto co-conspirators in the courtship. In addition, Bright Star is the rare period movie to convey--without being insistent--what it was like to be alive in another era, the nature of houses and rooms and how people occupied them, the way windows linked spaces and enlarged people's lives and experiences, how fires warmed as the milky English sunlight did not. And always there is an aliveness to place and weather, the creak of boardwalk underfoot and the wind rustling the reeds as lovers walk through a wetland. Poetry grows from such things; at least, Jane Campion's does. --Richard T. Jameson, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
Her minimalist approach produces a beautifully elegant romantic confection.
Keats deserves such a gentle portrait.
I am 'a fan' of John Keats (if a dead Romantic poet can have fans!) and have recently purchased the Andrew Motion biography, which I am planning to start reading soon. I had heard of 'Bright Star' but I knew very little about it - I was completely unware, for instance, that it had been written and directed by Jane Campion. I was prepared for one of those 'period drama' style biopics, you know the kind of rather dull fare that the BBC and ITV churn out on a regular basis. Two people, both readers of Keats, had given me opposite reports so I really didn't know what to expect. Well actually, I was mainly prepared to be disappointed.
Well, it's good to be wrong sometimes. Because I absolutely loved this film.
When I realised from the opening titles that Jane Campion was behind it, my hopes were raised. I immediately thought that Abby Cornish' Fanny was superb; she reminded me of Nicole Kidman with a bit of Charlize Theron (fortunately, the latter only in terms of looks and not acting). Fanny is not a boring two dimensional damsel in distress type: she is a girl determined to get her man! Keats is played by Ben Whishaw and I must confess that in the first few scenes I had my reservations about him; he looked a bit like someone out of an indie band (especially the hair). A bit too 'hipster-like'. However within thirty minutes into the film I was totally won over by his portrayal of the poet. The acting was superb; what really, really stands out in this film is the fact that both Whinshaw and Cornish recite lines of Keats' poetry at various points but it never sounds 'hammy'.Read more ›
I did not know much of the subject matter before watching this movie, I'd read a few of Keats's poems in school (as most of us no doubt have) but I didn't even know of his early death or his romance with Fanny Braune.
I fully recommend this movie to romance and period film lovers, though be warned as the tragedy comes to it's end there may be tears.
This film captured my heart. I find most modern 21st Cent. romance films to be cheesy/corny, and frankly boring & not worth a re-watch, but in Bright Star the romance was one which most of us would dream of and yet shy away from (so powerful that a few words from that person could make you swoon or feel like dying). The music which drifted through occasionally was well thought out, and the innocence of their relationship portrayed by their ever so gentle and secret first kiss was magical. Although to many people it may not seem as if much is happening in this film, and perhaps they were expecting a more passionate relationship and hearts flying everywhere, but this is a film is focused upon two young people being drawn to one another, becoming soul mates, both unique (a seamstress and a poet) and their battles with love.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautiful movie and such a sad story. Whishaw is great as always. Afterward could n't stop crying for an hour!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is an achingly beautiful and poignant tale. Visually stunning with amazing cinematography and superbly directed by Jane Campion. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Still not picking up an audience which is a bit of a tragedy in my estimation.Published 5 months ago by Dan Smith
Poignant portrayal of the ultimately hopeless love affair between Keats and Fanny Brawne. Sensitive, understated acting and stunning cinematography and costume design.Published 6 months ago by RoyJP