Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, and outspoken student of fashion. This unlikely pair started at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general. It was the illness of Keats' younger brother that drew them together. Keats was touched by Fanny's efforts to help and agreed to teach her poetry. By the time Fanny's alarmed mother and Keats' best friend Brown realized their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept into powerful new sensation, "I have the feeling as if I were dissolving," Keats wrote her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats' illness proved insurmountable. (Apparition) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. Intimate as a whisper, immediate as a blush, and universal as first love, the PG-rated film positively palpitates with the sensual and spiritual.
  2. Campion's big-sisterly encouragement of Cornish's lovely, openhearted performance -- and Whishaw's well-matched response -- results in a character instantly, intimately recognizable to anyone remembering her own first love.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Breaking through any period-piece mustiness with piercing insight into the emotions and behavior of her characters, the writer-director examines the final years in the short life of 19th-century romantic poet John Keats through the eyes of his beloved, Fanny Brawne, played by Abbie Cornish in an outstanding performance.
  4. For a movie so sensuously mounted, it's remarkably grounded.
  5. 75
    Bright Star is the New Zealand writer-director's raw, sensual attempt to render Keats as experienced by a young girl who couldn't understand the genius of his verse.
  6. Mainly, though, it's the exquisite restraint - both of Cornish's performance and Campion's direction - that gives the film its power.
  7. Writer-director Jane Campion approaches the tale with an artiste’s respectful solemnity, but it too often comes off like "Twilight" transplanted across oceans and centuries.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 31
  2. Negative: 8 out of 31
  1. Jun 21, 2013
    Beautiful, moving story. Filmed at a slow pace, it allows the viewers to follow the development of Keats and Brawne relationship. Some unforgettable photography (the butterflies farm, the slow passing of seasons). Even more admirable in an age of speed and noise. The soundtrack is also quite delicate. A masterpiece of sophistication and substance. Expand
  2. Aug 18, 2013
    I watched this years ago just cause, I wasn't sure what I was going to get. This was a profoundly touching movie. I'm not sure why I see reviews bashing it for being "too slow". Come on it's a drama and it's about real life. What do you think is going to happen? Some action packed scene with explosions? No it's not that kind of movie. If you wanted that you should have watched you know... an ACTION movie not a british drama. Dramas can be very slow but this one did not bother me because of the emotions it captured through amazing shots and acting. I was in tears many times in different points in this movie. NOT feelings of sadness or emotion ACTUAL crying that I could not stop. It's very rare a movie can do that to me. Overall a hugely ignored movie by the public and if you have not seen it you should. Expand
  3. Sep 3, 2010
    I found the typical meter of the actor's words that resemble any other period peice, that each word is spoken with as much significance as we today attribute to the time, lacked realism and detracted from the making the film anything out of the ordinary. In essense its form was very typical of any other period drama, however I think Abbie Cornish's portrayal was devastatingly glorious. She was the heart-strings of this film and swayed it in whatever way she wished. Expand
  4. Feb 17, 2011
    Scenes of literary poetry
    With her poetic drama Jane Campion makes two hours feel like fifteen minutes in heaven in this story about a secret
    romance that starts of in London 1818 between struggling poet John Keats and the girl next door Fanny Brawne. When their love for one another is revealed they are faced with strong resistance, but their bond has gotten so strong that there is nothing anyone can do to change it.
    Six years has passed since one of times most important female director's made the thriller "In the cut" (2003). Her newest film is based on Andrew Motions "KEATS: A Biography" from 1987 and is a hearty ovation to romantic poet John Keats (1795-1821), that depicts the tree last years in his life and focuses on the relationship between him and 19 year old Fanny Brawne, that would become his life's love.
    With sophisticated camera movements Campion visualizes the romance in the characters and nature as she attempts to drag out the essence off Keats poems. Her use of linear narrative holds this character drama together, and in several of the most artistic scenes Keats is quoted through Ben Wishaw's characteristic voice-over. The emotional substance in Abbie Cornish's interpretation compliments Campion`s lyrical film style and the chemistry between her and Ben Wishaw is present in ever scene they share. Paul Schneider is also splendid in his supporting role as Keats best friend. "Bright Star" is encouraged by the colorful interiors and exteriors that is in style with, contrasts and emphasizes the remarkable costumes. With her personal signature, New Zealand director Jane Campion creates rarely seen scenes of literary poetry that are enhanced by the atmospheric violin music from Mark Bradshaw, and returns to the genre's she more than mastered in "An angel at my table" (1990) and "The Piano" (1993). For her eight picture so far she was nominated for the Palme'd Or in Cannes for the third time. "Bright Star" is in my eyes an enchanting story that articulates and visualizes love's life with exquisite images, gesticulations and lines.

See all 31 User Reviews


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