Bright Star

2009

Bright Star

Critics Consensus

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.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 172

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,385
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Movie Info

London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of fashion. This unlikely pair started at odds; he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general. It was the illness of Keats's younger brother that drew them together. Keats was touched by Fanny's efforts to help and agreed to teach her poetry. By the time Fanny's alarmed mother and Keats's best friend Brown realized their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept into powerful new sensations, "I have the feeling as if I were dissolving", Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats's illness proved insurmountable.

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Cast

Ben Whishaw
as John Keats
Abbie Cornish
as Fanny Brawne
Paul Schneider
as Charles Armitage Brown
Kerry Fox
as Mrs. Brawne
Claudie Blakley
as Maria Dilke
Gerard Monaco
as Charles Dilke
Samuel Roukin
as Reynolds
Samuel Barnett
as Mr. Severn
Jonathan Aris
as Mr. Hunt
Olly Alexander
as Tom Keats
Theresa Watson
as Charlotte
Eileen Davies
as Mrs. Bentley
Amanda Hale
as Reynolds Sister
Sally Reeve
as Landlady
Lucinda Raikes
as Reynolds Sister
Francois Testory
as Dance Master
Adrian Schiller
as Mr. Taylor
Alfred Harmsworth
as Charles Dilke, Jr.
Lucas Motion
as Suitor at Ball
Topper
as The Cat
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Critic Reviews for Bright Star

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (50)

Audience Reviews for Bright Star

  • May 02, 2013
    This falls into the category of period films that I don't like. Nothing to jump out to make me want to love it but with acting that is hard to criticize. I suppose if you like this sort of thing..
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2011
    Another masterful work from Campion, and featuring a heart-breaking performance from Cornish which successfully put her on my radar, this film shines like the title suggests, dripping with artistic merit and featuring a lyricality among its prose that is beyond comprehension.
    Cody H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2011
    Beautiful. And I'm not just talking about Ben Whishaw whose degradation tugs at the heartstrings, the relationship is lovingly portrayed and the cinematography is a delight to behold. However the beauty is in how Campion manages to stray away from sentimentality, the utter tragedy of the story and overusing the glorious poetry. I also loved Schneider as Brown whose brash personality is a perfect foil to the quiet dignity of Keats. An utter joy to watch and the one tear that slowly made its way down my cheek at the end sums up the understated beauty of this film more than any flood of weeping ever could.
    Sarah B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2011
    "Bright Star" is a beautifully made film and I suppose it's true to the romantic spirit of John Keats' poetry, but the script's drippy, melodramatic qualities produce quite a few eyerolls. And then, as if to apologize for all the overwrought tears and chest-heaving elsewhere, there is Keats' best friend Charles Armitage Brown, who's such an amazing jerk that his close relationship with Keats seems wholly implausible. Paul Schneider is fine in the role -- I never would have guessed he is American -- but his part is just grossly one-dimensional. If you're looking for a Jane Campion film about a vulnerable writer, you're much better off reaching for "An Angel at My Table."
    Eric B Super Reviewer

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