Bright Star

October 15th, 2009


Bright Star

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Still of Ben Whishaw in Bright StarStill of Abbie Cornish in Bright StarStill of Ben Whishaw in Bright StarStill of Abbie Cornish in Bright StarStill of Paul Schneider and Ben Whishaw in Bright StarStill of Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw in Bright Star

The drama based on the three-year romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats' untimely death at age 25.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 7.0/10 (10,531 voted)

Critic's Score: 81/100

Director: Jane Campion

Stars: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider

It's 1818 in Hampstead Village on the outskirts of London. Poet Charles Brown lives in one half of a house, the Dilkes family who live in the other half. Through their association with the Dilkes, the fatherless Brawne family know Mr. Brown. The Brawne's eldest daughter, Fanny Brawne, and Mr. Brown don't like each other. She thinks he's arrogant and rude, and he feels that she is pretentious, knowing only how to sew (admittedly well as she makes all her own fashionable clothes), flirt and give opinions on subjects about which she knows nothing. Insecure struggling poet 'John Keats' comes to live with his friend, Mr. Brown. Miss Brawne and Mr. Keats have a mutual attraction to each other, a relationship which however is slow to develop in part since Mr. Brown does whatever he can to keep the two apart. But other obstacles face the couple, including their eventual overwhelming passion for each other clouding their view of what the other does...

Writers: Jane Campion, Jane Campion

Abbie Cornish - Fanny Brawne
Ben Whishaw - John Keats
Paul Schneider - Mr. Brown
Kerry Fox - Mrs. Brawne
Edie Martin - Toots
Thomas Brodie-Sangster - Samuel
Claudie Blakley - Maria Dilke
Gerard Monaco - Charles Dilke
Antonia Campbell-Hughes - Abigail
Samuel Roukin - Reynolds
Amanda Hale - Reynolds Sister
Lucinda Raikes - Reynolds Sister
Samuel Barnett - Mr. Severn
Jonathan Aris - Mr. Hunt
Olly Alexander - Tom Keats

Taglines: A thing of beauty is a joy forever.


Official Website: Official site [France] | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 15 October 2009

Filming Locations: Elstree Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $189,703 (USA) (20 September 2009) (19 Screens)

Gross: $4,444,637 (USA) (10 December 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The film shot for one day in Rome. Keats' funeral procession was the last scene to be filmed and the only scene of the film not shot in the UK. This exterior location is the actual residence Keats stayed, and died, in. It now houses the Keats - Shelly House museum.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: (At 1:16:38) After Fanny Brawne says "You would have it that I kill Mr. Keats with affection?" Mr. Brown says "Perhaps you will," but the audio doesn't match up with his mouth movements.

[first lines]
[general chatter]
Mrs. Brawne: Hello, Joy.
Dilke Maid: Hello.
Mrs. Brawne: Is all well?
Dilke Maid: Very good, thank you.

User Review

Beautiful in the rarest of ways

Rating: 10/10

With such high hopes for a film, a letdown is always lurking the depths of your mind, but in this case, Campion far exceeded my exceptions. Never could I have predicted the deep, meticulously crafted scenes, led so strongly by Abbie Cornish playing Fanny. The heartwrenching emotion in this movie was unlike any other; there has never been a more real portrayal of the most simplistic yet most common emotions that rule the heart. Campion went far beyond the usual "I am deeply in love; Now I am sad" and truly captured human idiosyncrasy as she delved into the illogical, irrational minds of two young and suddenly in love individuals. At times, it was almost too much to bear due to how intensely palpable the sadness was. To some, certain scenes or moments may have seemed a little longer than usual, but completely necessary is the silence, just as much as the dialogue. This film perfectly embodied how a simple, real, profound story should be told.

If the above were not enough to drive this movie on, the aesthetics were nothing short of spectacular. Each stitch in Fanny's sewing was as beautiful as each scene in a field of lavender or room flooded with butterflies. The magnificent settings, costumes, and natural sunshine pouring into a perfectly decorated room felt not contrived, but simply like a very real dream. As the curtains in Fanny's room got caught in the breeze, it was as if you felt it cooling you down ever so slightly as her content emotion overtook your mind.

Ben Whishaw, too, was superb: perfectly embodying the fragile, wondrous poet that was John Keats, so full of tender emotion. Fanny's younger sister was another beautiful element of this film and really stole the show in her own right with her hilarious and endearing perception of life in general. Each character and each line spoken brought something so special to the story. As much witty humor as there was aching sorrow, this movie is not one to be missed.


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