2009. Great Britain/Australia. Jane Campion. 119 min.
Monday, January 11, 2010, 8:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
2009. Great Britain/Australia. Written and directed by Jane Campion. With Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish. English poet John Keats was a key figure in the Romantic literary movement of the early nineteenth century. Romantic poets employed language that was full of sensual imagery, a reverence for the natural world, and outwardly reserved yet passionate inner emotions. Jane Campion’s beautiful Bright Star explores Keats’s romance with his landlady’s daughter, Fanny Brawne. Separated by a wall in the Hampstead cottage they shared with several other boarders, John and Fanny are followers of a social code that promotes passion, but also chastity. The depth of their love is expressed in poems that pulse with yearning and desire, but when John and Fanny are together, they cannot muster more physical contact than chaste kisses and intertwined hands. As performed by Whishaw and Cornish, these diminutive actions culminate in a romantic reverie rather than any explicit love scene, and director Campion is equally restrained in editing and camera movement. 119 min.