Period pieces aren’t my thing.
If it’s yours, you’ll find Jane Campion’s Bright Star — brought to you by Battelle Film Club — compelling.
Campion ( The Piano) bases Bright Star on gossip, legend and some love letters left behind after Romantic Era poet John Keats and his girlfriend Fanny Brawne passed from this life.
Some of you will love what little poetry there is and a filmed version of the social gamesmanship of Keats’ times. I was totally bored, but poetry and art flick love stories aren’t my thing so I may not be the best source for your decision to see this or not.
There are pluses. The performances are entertaining. Abbie Cornish ( Stop-Loss) does Brawne as a single-minded, independent young woman in love with Ben Wishaw’s Keats. Cornish has virtually no chemistry with Wishaw, but the lightning strikes hot and hard in her scenes with Paul Schneider’s Charles Armitage Brown, who plays Keats' sponsor.
Their verbal sparring is world-class.
Campion’s film is burdened by a boring premise. It quickly becomes more Harlequin romance than a deep look at the struggle of the poet and his paramour. Keats has no money so Brawne can’t marry him, Brown is jealous of Brawne’s influence and keeps her at bay.
Wisham’s Keats is a complete milquetoast with zip for a personality. That leaves you with the poetry. It is pretty good. There just isn’t enough of it.
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It plays one time — 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 17 — at the Battelle Auditorium in Richland.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.