I've seen a quite a few films directed/co-directed by women, so here are my top 100 films, loosely ranked and…
First love burns brightest.
In 1818, high-spirited young Fanny Brawne finds herself increasingly intrigued by the handsome but aloof poet John Keats, 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.
Who knew a man stroking a woman's hand could be so sexy? I've seen this movie seven or eight times now and it never fails to invade my soul and senses with its beauty and glorious sadness. It's the cinematic equivalent of smelling a lovely perfume, gazing at a field of lilac bushes or tasting a delicious wine...everything about it is full of sensuous texture and utter longing...longing to be touched, longing to be inspired, longing to love and create art. It leaves a mark on every part of your being and, like a person's first love, is incredibly difficult to forget about once it's over. You don't know until the end of the movie how tightly it wound itself around your heart.
Though my knowledge of poetry is woefully minimal, it seems that anyone capable of reading and understanding reference can grasp, if not the elegance of structure (or lack thereof--I truly couldn't say) or the nuances of its language, at least the surface of the emotional content of a poet like Keats. Regardless of whether that resonance is earned through intimate knowledge or simply stimulus/response, as with all forms of art and media, it doesn't entirely matter in the moment of reaction. Like avant garde film, I am left simply trusting my instincts and hoping for some glimpse of insight.
Campion's romantic biopic is a lovely portrait, using nature (a common enough theme in what little Keats I have read) and…
I tend to dislike watching movies with my girlfriend’s family as they quickly hide behind iPads, reading the film’s synopsis, yelling how the plot will turn out when I’m still enjoying the picture. That’s what happened today as well, apart from the fact that I wasn’t caring that much about what I was seeing this time. It was boring. Four out five scenes didn’t add anything to the story and for something that holds an eighty plus metacritic score I was really expecting more from the actors and screenplay. Didn’t help much that the final minutes were missing from the recording, obliging me to watch the finale from a French stream (I don’t speak or understand French sufficiently, so I guess it came in handy that the plot was yelled at me earlier).
Jane Campion's film about the love affair between young poet John Keats and his neighbor Fanny Brawne is both achingly sad and tenderly romantic, delicately presented with patience and reserved sensuality. It is beautifully photographed, the outdoor scenes especially are shot with the sort of sensitivity a wildlife photographer might employ to avoid startling his subjects. The screenplay serves the story well... the relationship lasted about four years and is presented here with admirable faithfulness to existing documentation of Keats' illness and premature death, but without the fragmented, episodic feel that often results from such a time span. Reserved pacing and restrained emotion seem to reinforce our impressions of polite society of the period but only intensify the wrenching, heartbreaking climax of this doomed romance.
"Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft swell and fall,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death."
I always did really admire Campion's period pieces. For me they could always put…
A sweet and stylistic portrayal of a love affair between the characters of Abbie Cornish and Ben Wishaw. This film is effective storytelling and brutally heartbreaking.
Wishaw is particularly good as the poor author, John Keates. Everything in this movie is so polite and subtle, I just love the reserved British nature of it all.
Overall, a great watch, but one can get sick of watching hopeless bohemians by the end of this...
High production values. Beautiful scenery and photography.
brawne: *wearing 5 foot platform heels and lizzie mcguire's igloo dress* i love fashion
Honestly the most beautiful and underrated film I've ever seen.
I LOVED THIS FILM I CRIED AND HAD 10000 EMOTIONS ABOUT KEATS. ben whishaw is truly beautiful.
This movie rules. Ben Whishaw is a dream.
"A poem needs understanding through the senses.
The point of diving in a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore, but to be in the lake. To luxuriate in the sensation of water....
You do not work the lake out, it is experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept mystery.
I love mystery."
Seriously. Dreamboat tragic love story. Yum.
In any period drama featuring a star-crossed romance, a key component of its success is its ability to sweep the audience into the emotions and sensations experienced by its tragic lovers. Bright Star may talk a lot about love and the devotion its characters have for each other, but it doesn't really succeed in ensnaring the audience in its whispered nothings or longing glances. Compared to Campion's own The Piano, a film of messy, wild passion, Bright Star feels disappointingly tame, its love a candle's flame instead of a supernova.
(4,5 + 2 + 3,5 +4)
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!