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Jane Campion

Bright Star

Director Jane Campion Composer Mark Bradshaw Cast Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider
Edition 2023
119' - 2009 - Drama, Biography, Romance - Dialogue: French, English
Ben Whishaw has the perfect physicality to incarnate the delicate poet John Keats, who only found recognition after his death and was called "the greatest nineteenth-century poet" by Tennyson. Australian Abbie Cornish, at once vulnerable and unflappable in her obsession with the poète maudit, is a revelation in the difficult role of Fanny Brawne.
Jane Campion (of the Golden Palm-winning The Piano) describes the three-year long amorous affair between English poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne in circa 1818 England in this unabashedly romantic costume drama, freed of the decorative ballast we associate with the genre. Thwarted love is explored here in all its excesses, right down to the morbid: 'love that hurts so much you think you could die from it,' in Fanny's words. Bright Star takes place mainly indoors, but the beautiful countryside, with the surrounding moors changing colour over the seasons, helps shape the purity (and cosmic power) of their fiery torments. Campion manages to leave far behind the stuffy academism that threatens costume film by using modern imagery and concentrating on the emotions rather than the historical framework.
"Ms. Campion, with her restless camera movements and off-center close-ups, films history in the present tense, and her wild vitality makes this movie romantic in every possible sense of the word." - The New York Times

Image gallery

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Jane Campion


Mark Bradshaw


Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider


Jane Campion

Director of Photography

Greig Fraser


Alexandre de Franceschi


Jan Chapman, Caroline Hewitt

Production studios

Pathé Renn Productions


Paradiso Filmed Entertainment NV

More info


French, English

Countries of production

Australia, United Kingdom, France

Screenplay based on

'Keats' (Andrew Motion)




Jane Campion
An Exercise in Discipline: Peel (short, 1982), Passionless Moments (short, 1983), A Girl's Own Story (short, 1984), Mishaps of Seduction and Conquest (1984), After Hours (short, 1985), Sweetie (1989), An Angel at My Table (1990), The Piano (1993), The Portrait of a Lady (1996), Holy Smoke (1999), In the Cut (2003), The Water Diary (short, 2006), To Each His Own Cinema (2007), 8 (2008), Bright Star (2009), The Power of the Dog (2021)