6.9/10
24,946
115 user 225 critic

Bright Star (2009)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life.

Director:

Jane Campion

Writers:

Jane Campion, Jane Campion (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 52 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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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 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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

First Love Burns Brightest See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

French visa # 123588. See more »

Goofs

A boom mic is visible above Keats' head in the scene where he bids a final and constrained farewell to Fanny inside the foyer of the house on the morning he departs for Rome. See more »

Quotes

Fanny Brawne: I still don't know how to work out a poem.
John Keats: 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.
Fanny Brawne: I love mystery.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

Serenade in B flat, K361, Adagio
(1781)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Arranged by Mark Bradshaw
See more »

User Reviews

 
Bright Star...beautiful
9 November 2009 | by mccjemSee 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."


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | France

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

9 October 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bright Star See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$189,703, 20 September 2009

Gross USA:

$4,444,637

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,374,652
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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