Sunday, January 10, 2010

Would I were as stedfast as thou art

This week has been a bit of a crazy one. I finished up at the job I was retrenched from just before Christmas (my second retrenchment in 2009 and a darned piece of bad luck), and then on Thursday evening, just as I was rather despairing at where to next, I was offered a new job - working back in book publishing - which I start in Feb. The result of all this excitement was that I didn't get around to posting my absolute joy at watching Jane Campion's new film Bright Star last weekend.

Jane Campion has adapted for screen a number of books which I thoroughly enjoyed. An Angel at My Table was unforgettably moving, A Portrait of a Lady was just not quite there and In the Cut I seemed to enjoy far more than most reviewers did, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the novel. The Piano was an original screenplay and I remember absolutely adoring it when it came out, even though I was only 15 at the time and wouldn't have been able to fully understand it. Imagine my excitement to hear that Campion was making a film about poet John Keats, and my delight in not been disappointed in the final result, but actually completely exhilarated.

I love romances, period settings, poetry and Ben Whishaw (my friend Lee and I have both been crushing on him since Brideshead Revisted). Little did I know, however, that Bright Star also has plenty for lovers of fashion too because Keats's love interest Fanny Brawne (played expertly by Aussie Abbie Cornish), was a costume designer who was known for her love of dress and her envelope pushing outfits.

Janet Patterson was the costume designer on the film and there is a Variety story about her and Bright Star that is worth a read.
Abbie and Ben have just been long listed for BAFTA's, and I have my fingers crossed.

Bright Star is by far my favourite flick from the last twelve months due to its sublime direction, glorious production and impassioned performances. A beautiful, authentic and heartbreaking rendering of first love.


BaronessVonVintage said...

so glad to hear you loved it because I am eager to see it but have been fearing disappointment!

COCAMIA said...

I love romances and period settings too! Great Post!

Mel said...

I've heard of this film but had no idea it was a period piece! I definitely want to check it out!

Andi B. Goode said...

This is one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful films I have ever seen. Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw are both amazingly talented young actors. I've had a crush on Ben Whishaw since I saw him in the TV show Nathan Barley.

I also loved the costumes. They're divine.