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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Biopic > Writer > Bright Star (2009/Sony DVD)

Bright Star (2009/Sony DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C+



Save The Piano, I have not been a big fan of the output of Director Jane Campion.  Though she is talented and makes films of some depth hand detail, that it gets lost too often in melodrama and predictability.  Bright Star (2009) tells of the love affair that only works out so well between John Keats (Ben Whishaw, Layer Cake) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish).  Well acted and at times believable, it is just as often boring and routine.


She also wrote the screenplay, which as usual, tends to be more book-like and restrictive than films like this should be by now.  Other things (costumes, locations, the look of the film) do work, yet I wanted to see more of a character study, but when all was said and done, this could have been just about anyone’s love affair, and some phony requirement to have read Keats’ work before seeing the film is a pure cop-out.  This is safe filmmaking at best and only for the most interested.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image was shot in 3-perf Super 35mm instead of using a whole 1.33 block with a hard or soft matte.  The transfer here is a little softer than I would have liked, but I believe Director of Photography Grieg Fraser (The Boys Are Back) likely did a better job than one can see here.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 is on the dialogue-based, quiet side with Mark Bradshaw’s good score, but don’t expect much in the way of dynamics.  Extras include three making of featurettes (Becoming Keats and Fanny, Setting The Scene, An Inspiring Romance) and Deleted Scenes.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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