Jane Campion, who's wowed film fans and critics for years with movies like Sweetie, The Piano, and The Portrait of a Lady, came back with a fierceness at this year's Cannes with Bright Star, an elegant retelling of the love affair between John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). The film shows the doomed relationship from Brawne's point of view; an outspoken and creative young woman with a flair for fashion and not much of a passion for Romantic poetry, Brawne becomes enamored of her neighbor much to the disapproval of her mother and his churlish friend, fellow writer Charles Brown (Paul Schneider). Unfortunately, their love remains rather celibate, relegated to holding hands and writing letters. Keats died at 25, unsuccessful and poor, from tuberculosis.

Overall the consensus from Cannes was that Jane Campion's first full-length movie since 2003's In the Cut was a strong contender in a number of Oscar categories, including best film and director. Since then, Bright Star has practically dropped from sight, unlike other little-films-that-could like An Education, which has benefited from more word-of-mouth buzz and the backing of a slightly larger, more established studio. (Bright Star's US distributor is Apparition, which was launched in August.)
categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical