Bright Star Reviews
Campion's big-sisterly encouragement of Cornish's lovely, openhearted performance -- and Whishaw's well-matched response -- results in a character instantly, intimately recognizable to anyone remembering her own first love.
A deeply felt and intelligent film, one of those that has grown in my mind on a second viewing; it is almost certainly the best of Campion's career, exposing The Piano as overrated and overegged.
Those who love language and particularly poetic verse will savor the dialogue, as well as the visual splendor of the film. With its gorgeously framed shots and superb craftsmanship, Bright Star is a thing of beauty.
Bright Star is ripe with the eroticism of a proud woman being seduced by words and undone by emotions. If that's not worth more than a year of Megan Fox movies, I can't help you.
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.
Silence and stillness, as well as the restrained desire of its lovers, are given their due. After the clatter and rush of the summer flicks, patience is demanded but also rewarded.
There's a full complement of geese and mud and some women in bonnets, but Campion avoids finery and ceremony. She doesn't show off the period; she triumphantly makes it a time in which people live as best they can.
What Campion does is seek visual beauty to match Keats' verbal beauty. There is a shot here of Fanny in a meadow of blue flowers that is so enthralling it beggars description.
The best costumers, set designers, and property masters can't conjure up the mental and emotional spaces of a simpler era; that requires a filmmaker who knows the virtue of quiet, patience, and attentiveness.
Bright Star shines brightly indeed, not only on the strength of a couple of powerhouse performances, but also as a look back at a time when poets were rock stars, with all the skinny British attitude that implies.