It’s hard to capture the utter agony and ecstasy of first love, but in the new film Bright Star (now playing select cities) Academy Award-winner Jane Campion manages to do both poignantly and beautifully.
The film—Campion’s finest since 1993’s The Piano—focuses on the secret and torrid love affair between the 23-year-old John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and girl-next-door Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Due to a variety of obstacles (including money, illness, and an interfering best friend played by Paul Schneider), the young lovers are mostly kept apart, which makes their scenes together all the more electric. Each actor delivers astonishing performances, and it’s hard to imagine any other film this season that can match Bright Star’s gorgeous cinematography.
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