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Bright Star (2009)

tomatometer

83

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 155
Fresh: 128 | Rotten: 27

Jane Campion's direction is as refined as her screenplay, and she gets the most out of her cast -- especially Abbie Cornish -- in this understated period drama.

92

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 3

Jane Campion's direction is as refined as her screenplay, and she gets the most out of her cast -- especially Abbie Cornish -- in this understated period drama.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 10,839

My Rating

Movie Info

Jane Campion's literary biopic tells the true story of Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), a 23-year-old Londoner in 1818 whose independent streak manifests itself through an intense interest and love for fashion and dressmaking. Her neighbor, the struggling but gifted young poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw), underestimates her intelligence because he believes she's frivolous, and she, having no interest in literature, seems thoroughly disinterested in him. However, Fanny attempts to help the Keats family

PG,

Drama, Romance

Jane Campion

Jan 26, 2010

$4.3M

Apparition Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (156) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (128) | Rotten (27) | DVD (6)

Campion, who won fans with The Piano (1993) and lost them with the dismal In the Cut (2003) here returns to the top of her form.

November 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Film.com
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A combination of unstuffy dialogue, wise casting, unselfconscious performances and sensuous but never pretty photography makes Campion's version of the nineteenth century feel current but not anachronistic.

November 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For a movie so sensuously mounted, it's remarkably grounded.

October 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The rare film about the life of an artist that is itself a work of art.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In its way Campion's film is a thing of beauty, but its characters' inner lives must be taken on faith.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Greig Fraser's cool cinematography offsets the heat in Campion's ecstatically literate screenplay, which quotes Keats' handiwork all the way through the end credits. It sounds like music.

September 25, 2009 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Campion's film avoids any taint of costume drama frippery. Yes, Fanny starts off as a Regency-era fashionista, but Cornish and Whishaw's deeply felt performances give us a real sense of the beating hearts beneath the frock coats and bonnets.

August 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

to film asxoleitai me ton erwta toys, apo th skopia ths Fanny, apo th skopia petaloydas poy sboyrizei anemela mexri na brei sto libadi poihth na toy royfhksei to nektar

September 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

The emotions found in Bright Star are raw and passionate, and are magnificently presented in the most simplest and natural moments.

July 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Romance and poetry have no time to sag

May 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Gorgeous and anchored by a flinty performance from Abbie Cornish, it's a mystery as to why this Jane Campion period piece fades away rather than catches fire.

May 13, 2010 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

High-Toned, Tragic, Exalted Soap

April 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Janet Patterson has come up with an exquisite wardrobe for Fanny that magically suits both the biographical back-story and Cornish's fine physique. Let's hope Oscar agrees.

February 25, 2010 Full Review Source: JWR

The plot doesn't have much to go on, so much is imagined but not demonstrably true, with acting, production design and period costume hopefully covering for accuracy.

January 14, 2010 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Has a disarming quality to it, depicting a romance not as torrid waves of drama but as something that is born awkward and steadily gains its holding.

January 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

A movie in the inimitable PBS Masterpiece Theater style. John Keats falls in love, gets TB and dies. At least there are no Exxon commercials.

January 4, 2010 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Comments (2)
rec.arts.movies.reviews

The film appears to be flirting with the idea of superficiality and romance and wit and depth of character but never really explores any tack at length, except the agonies of their love.

December 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina | Comment (1)

An intoxicating and intelligent romance film with strong fleshed-out characters that defy all the clichés and pulpy attributes that usually plague this genre.

December 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

This is tragic young love in all its overwrought glory and agony. This is not the reserved, stylish sort of love one seen in Jane Austen's works.

December 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Oh Bright Star, wouldst thou were a great film... but thou art not. Thou art good but bitsy.

December 23, 2009 Full Review Source: smh.com.au | Comments (3)
smh.com.au

But the film is more about the impact of love on both their lives than about the impact of his poetry, which wasn't widely recognised until after his death. Life's a bitch.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Like a bright star that shines from the heavens, Jane Campion's film about the doomed love between the poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne is exquisitely beautiful, but keeps us at arm's length.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The most perfect film of the year.

December 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Your heart will break, your head will swoon, and you will hope against hope for a happy ending that history will not permit.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

One of the year's pleasures for the eyes, mind and heart -- a bright star indeed.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Courier Mail (Australia)

Jane Campion's film is as lyrical as you might expect but it's also enlivened with a bracing air of irreverence.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Audience Reviews for Bright Star

One of the most underrated films of 2009, brilliantly directed, gorgeously photographed and wonderfully acted. Left me a little speechless at the end. Look out for Ben Wishaw's reading at the end of the credits-just a brilliant delivery and a wonderful voice! Wonderful performances by Abbie Cornish and Ben Wishaw.Look out for Ben Wishaw's reading at the end of the credits-just a brilliant delivery and a wonderful voice!

Highly recommended
September 13, 2010
SarahG1988

Super Reviewer

Ever wish the fictitious on-screen couple in a movie would fall apart so you could get some action with the leading lady? Yeah, neither have I. Save that for people who get emotionally involved in movies. That's not to say her character didn't make me hot in all those tailored 1800s outfits. Mmmm, girl.

I'd watch it again. Even though the second half was, at times, almost unbearably sad. Something tells me I'll be on the lookout for more films featuring either Ben Whishaw or Abbie Cornish. After I watched "I'm Not There," I was patiently waiting another film with Ben Whishaw in it. Lo and behold, here's one.

Better yet, my mom rented this movie and lent it to me. My mom NEVER rents excellent movies. Without my guidance. Total mindfuck.
August 12, 2010
djdemersseman

Super Reviewer

Dull
July 20, 2010
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A mostly genteel and restrained love story between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, with very solid performances by Abbie Cornish, Paul Schneider and Ben Whishaw. Also, there is one cathartic scene by the end of the film that really made me shed a couple of tears.
June 13, 2010
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

    1. Maria Dilke: A poem needs understanding through the senses.
    – Submitted by Frances H (16 months ago)
    1. Fanny Brawne: Hope and results are different. One doesn't necessarily create the other.
    – Submitted by Frances H (16 months ago)
    1. Fanny Brawne: [the night before he leaves] You know I would do anything.
    2. John Keats: I have a conscience.
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
    1. John Keats: There is a holiness to the heart's affections you know nothing about!
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Bright Star - Meine Liebe. Ewig. (DE)
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