"Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art"
Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish give stellar performances in ‘Bright Star’ as John Keats and his muse, Fanny Brawne. The film is directed by Jane Campion, who also directed Oscar-winning film, ‘The Piano,’ and it is adapted from Andrew Motion’s biography of the poet. Slender with a sensitive face and shabby clothes, Keats is a great contrast to his brash friend and flatmate, Brown, played by Paul Schneider. He is also a contrast to Fanny- who is vivacious and always dressed beautifully in clothes of her own making. Fanny and Brown’s banter is a source of humour in this tragic story of a great young poet burning out. Love thrives between Keats and Fanny in a world which recognises the physical, temperamental and monetary differences between them. Nevertheless, they are always surrounded by great natural beauty. The film is set in Hampstead, home of some of Keats’ loveliest poetry. This film is beautifully made and captures the Romantic ideals without being clichéd. As Shelley says in his elegy on Keats’s death, ‘Adonais,’ let us hope “The soul of Adonais, like a star, / Beacons from the abode where the Eternal are.” KJ