Bright Star

Below you will find written and video materials to supplement your experience with this film. Be aware that some essays and video essays may contain spoilers.

Critical Essays

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness: Keats and Fanny Brawne (Roger Ebert)

Jane Campion’s subtle and measured film about Keats (Guardian)

Her Own Verse Enemy (Reverse Shot)

Underming Keats (New York Review of Books)

Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009) (Senses of Cinema)

Six Sonnets for Bright Star (Bright Wall/Dark Room)

Contextual Reading

Keats, Fanny Brawne, and his poem “Bright Star”

Jane Campion’s Bright Star (interview)

John Keats 1795-1821

The Romantics – The British Library

All 8 Jane Campion Films Ranked


Bright Star

Our next film will be Bright Star (2009), directed by Jane Campion

April is National Poetry Month, which makes it the perfect time to visit this biographical drama from director Jane Campion.

Bright Star tells the story of the English poet John Keats and his relationship with Fanny Brawne. Keats died of tuberculosis a few years after meeting Brawne, and much of what we know about the poet has been drawn from their correspondence.

The film is lush and deeply romantic. Cinematographer Greig Fraser (Dune, Lion) creates a subtly gorgeous, luminous atmosphere, while the rich production design brings the 19th century to life. Lead actors Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw bring sensitivity and grace to their roles with intimate and sincere performances.

At the center of Bright Star is a message about art, longing, and resilience. Keats real poems are sprinkled throughout the story, including the titular poem, an ode to Fanny – his love and muse.

We will meet and discuss Bright Star on May 3rd at 7:00pm EDT on Slack. The movie will be made available to club members. You can also check out our resources page for additional reviews, essays and videos!