Bright Star

2009, Drama/Romance, 1h 59m

177 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In 1818, high-spirited young Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) finds herself increasingly intrigued by the handsome but aloof poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw), who lives next door to her family friends the Dilkes. After reading a book of his poetry, she finds herself even more drawn to the taciturn Keats. Although he agrees to teach her about poetry, Keats cannot act on his reciprocated feelings for Fanny, since as a struggling poet he has no money to support a wife.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Bright Star

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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