The last period film I watched (and my favorite) was Bright Star. Like The Young Victoria, it is a historical romance- three years in the life of the poet John Keats and the seamstress Fanny Brawne. I’m not really into poetry and although I’d heard of Keats I knew virtually nothing about his life.
I loved, loved, LOVED this movie! Similar to The Young Victoria, don’t expect anything like a biopic on Keats. Though it’s mostly historically accurate, as far as I know, it’s a romance above all else. And it is done very well. The whole movie has a very quiet feel- beautiful cinematography that uses a lot of natural light (it reminds me a lot of the 1995 Persuasion in its realistic look), exquisite costumes, and brilliant acting. Even the music, while beautiful, is quiet. There are sensual undertones throughout, but the romance, like the movie itself, is very restrained. The heroine is usually “chaperoned” by her younger siblings (her sister, Toots, is beyond adorable!), and the pair cannot marry due to poverty and then Keats’ illness. Keats’ friend and roommate, the greasy Mr. Brown, also tries to prevent their romance, but this really seems to only encourage them! The ending is tragic (Keats died of consumption at age 25) but the movie is just gorgeous.
Favorite shots and scenes
The movie is worth watching for the cinematography alone. Everything is understated and subtle, and yet left a bigger impression on me than anything on a grander scale ever has.
The Breeze Coming in from the Window
Just this shot of the breeze lifting the curtain as Fanny lies in bed is so simple and yet so effective.
Keats Lying on a Treetop
Both this shot and the one of Fanny in bed show them in peaceful bliss after they have shared their first kiss.
Hiding from Toots
Toots interrupted their little “date” and as they follow her, they kiss and cuddle in secret. Every time she turns around, they freeze. Brought a dopey smile to my face.
Finding each other through the wall
Fanny in the field of Wildflowers
The girls have butterflies flying all around their room. Isn’t Toots cute?
By far my favorite thing about this movie was the costumes! It’s set in the Regency, which is always a plus (for me at least. I love the fashions from that period). The heroine, Fanny, is a seamstress and prides herself on her fashionable clothes, which she makes all herself. I loved that the clothes in this actually looked hand-stitched. Fanny’s gowns in the beginning can be a bit over-the-top (bright colors, big hats and collars) but become more subdued throughout the course of the film. Most of her shoes are really cute too, take notice! Some of Toots’ dresses use the same fabrics as Fanny’s, which I thought was a nice touch.
Bright Red Spencer
Not a fan of the huge ruffled collar, however.
I’d wear that!
Love all the pinks! Check out the shoes and hat. Contrast Keats’ shabbier outfit.
This was the dress under the pelisse. Never seen anything like it!
This is my favorite in the whole movie! I’d love a jacket just like it.
This movie is not for everyone. If you like a lot of action and that sort of thing, you’ll probably hate it. I may get slightly upset if I hear that anyone hates the costumes, though!
My Rating: 9/10