Bright Star


Bright Star is beautifully romantic—isn’t that what I’m supposed to say? Certainly I have no reservations about saying that writer-director Jane Campion’s portrait of the relationship between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne is exquisitely filmed, with restrained, finely shaded performances from Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish. But romantic … I don’t know. I feel like there must have been more to John and Fanny’s relationship than Bright Star provides, and watching the movie, I kept sympathizing with the lovers’ friends and family who try to get the couple to be practical. That makes me feel like a hard-hearted clod, by the way, but even setting my android tendencies aside, something about Bright Star doesn’t sit right with me. Something is missing, no matter how elegant and delicate the film is.