It's 1818 in Hampstead Village on the outskirts of London. Poet Charles Brown lives in one half of a house, the Dilkes family the other. Through association with the Dilkes, the fatherless Brawne family knows Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown and the Brawne's eldest daughter, Fanny, don't like each other. She thinks him arrogant and rude; he feels that she's a pretentious flirt, knowing only how to sew (admittedly well as she makes all her own fashionable clothes), and voicing 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, but their relationship is slow to develop, in part, since Mr. Brown does whatever he can to keep the two apart. 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 little in the way of monetary ...Written by
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 »
When Keats looks out his window at Fanny, she walks to the window, pulls out a letter from her dress and holds it to the window. In the next shot, she pulls the letter from her dress again. See more »
I still don't know how to work out a poem.
A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept a mystery.
I love mystery.
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I saw this film tonight, and in my eyes, it is a perfect film. Beautifully acted by all involved, (several times during the film I found myself thinking 'Abby Cornish is amazing!", despite not being a huge fan before), and stunningly shot, it contains some of the most beautifully cinematic scenes i have ever seen committed to film. Campion does a wonderful job of communicating Fanny' emotional state through the composition, particularly in one scene where the wind is blowing the curtain in her bedroom. The light and colour are fresh and gorgeous and the costumes and design add to the overall piece without being distracting, which is just what you want from a period piece.
But in the end, it is above all a wonderful story, well told. A deeply romantic tale, the story of Fanny and Keats could easily have become a mawkish, overly sentimental piece. But through her wonderfully naturalistic dialogue, her use of humour and light touch, and her restrained story telling (she never lets a scene go on one line too long) Jane Campion has created a heart wrenching film which I cannot fault. The characters are real and fully rounded, you feel the joys and the pain with them, and where I think she really succeeds is by making their love affair extraordinary and yet at the same time deeply ordinary. It stirred up my own personal experiences of love and loss and you would have to have a heart of stone not to shed a tear at the end. Lovely lovely film, and what cinema should be all about.
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