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Bright Star (2009)

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The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life.

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, (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mr. Brown
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Toots
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Samuel
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Maria Dilke
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Reynolds
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Reynolds Sister
Lucinda Raikes ...
Reynolds Sister
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Mr. Severn
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Mr. Hunt
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Storyline

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, Mr. Keats' struggling career which offers him ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A thing of beauty is a joy forever. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some sensuality, brief language and incidental smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bright Star - Estrela Cintilante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$189,703 (USA) (18 September 2009)

Gross:

$4,440,055 (USA) (4 December 2009)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Keats' poems used in the film are: Endymion, When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be, The Eve of St Agnes, Ode to a Nightingale, La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Bright Star. See more »

Goofs

The large blue butterflies featured in the 'butterfly' sequence are tropical and would not have been found in Britain at that (or any other recent) time. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Ben Whishaw recites Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale" over the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2009 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sussex Waltz, K536 No.2 (Trio)
(1788)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
From the Album "Regency Ballroom English Country Dance Music from the Era of Jane Austen"
Arranged and Performed by Spare Parts, Bill Matthiesen, Liz Stell, Eric Buddington
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Bright Star...beautiful
9 November 2009 | by (CA, United States) – See all my reviews

Through brilliant, stunning visuals and intelligent, witty dialogue, Jane Campion's Bright Star celebrates the rapture of passionate love. Using many of the Romantic John Keats' own words--captured for posterity in his poems and love letters to Fanny Brawne, his 'sweet Girl'--Campion has weaved together one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen.

Rich 19th-century fabrics and breathtaking English scenery make Bright Star a sensuous pleasure to experience. But these visuals merely reflect the beauty within, the soul of this film: the love affair of Miss Brawne and Mister Keats.

Brawne is passionate about and proud of her fashionable and daring needlework, as is Keats his aspiring albeit more fine-spun poetry, and both share an ardent love of life and a longing for someone with whom to experience it completely. Theirs is the inspiring true story of the rare uniting of equals--of two strong, independent, and intelligent individuals with unique talents and dreams yet deeply matching values and desires.

The emotional, intellectual, and subtly sensual affair between Brawne and Keats is captured wonderfully in Bright Star, owing in part to the portrayal and backdrop of those closest to the lovers in their own lives, such as Keats' coarse but caring friend Charles Brown and Brawne's warm mother and endearing siblings. The obtrusively vulgar Brown serves in stark contrast to the gentlemanly Keats, whose integrity and will Brown deeply admires but cannot quite live up to in his own life, while Brawne's loving family--woven seamlessly into the storyline through their presence in scenes of playfully benevolent games, strolls, and dinner-parties-- serves as foil to the equally loving yet singularly feisty Brawne. Through the meaningful and often-tender dialogue and interactions between these vivid characters, Bright Star is able to match beauty of setting with that of soul, a rare feat in a film...as it is in life.

Now Bright Star has been attacked as sentimental by the modern, cynical skeptic, and if it were the hackneyed story of a princess and a pauper mindlessly frolicking to their "fairytale" ending, his criticism might merit a modicum of respect. But Bright Star is not a fairytale in that empty sense; for the fact is Keats died at the age of 25, and he and Brawne were anything but mindless. So unhappily for the cynic, his venom is ineffectual against this film; for in Bright Star, his normally insidious strain of attack finds its antidote: reality. Bright Star is a *true story* depicting the love affair of two exceptional souls who lived a life (however brief for Keats) of happiness *in this world*. In today's angst-ridden, often gloomy atmosphere of humility and despair--where so many either consciously diffuse or unwittingly (and tragically) breathe in the modern liberal claim of man's depravity (itself merely a mutation of the ancient Christian notion of Original Sin)--the little-known Bright Star shines through in rebellion with pride and exaltation, demanding its viewers resurrect the self-esteem and aspiration they once had as children, and should never have let die as adults.

Although Bright Star is deeply uplifting and truly benevolent, one must be prepared to leave its resplendent world tinged with a real sadness. But this sadness does not--it cannot-- abide if one recalls Keats' own poetic words to Brawne (from an early love letter), which encapsulate the film's essence: passionate love for this wondrous world and one's 'Bright Star' in it...

"...I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days--three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."


42 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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