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Bright Star

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Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, ...

Bright Star

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG
runtime:
119 minutes
Limited Release Date:
09/18/09
performer:
Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Paul Schneider
director:
Jane Campion
author:
Jane Campion
genre:
Drama, Romance

We gave it an A-

STARRING Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY Jane Campion

Jane Campion was holding her breath until rehearsal. She’d cast Ben Whishaw (Brideshead Revisited) and Abbie Cornish (Stop-Loss) in the tragic love story of 19th-century British poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne — and the actors had yet to meet. ”I had my picture of Ben and my picture of Abbie, and I sort of put them together,” says Campion, an Oscar winner for her screenplay for 1993’s The Piano. ”It was a great comfort to me in the first week of rehearsal to realize that their energy was very appealing to each other.” Chemistry was crucial, because the New Zealand-born filmmaker relied on classicist storytelling principles deemphasizing the overt influence of the director. Meaning? ”You have to have the goods,” says Campion. ”There’s no hiding it.” She says the couple delivers, even though she had been tempted to cast bigger stars. ”We all knew it would’ve [made things] much easier for us financially,” she says, but in the spirit of first love, she trusted her instincts. ”It’s really beautiful to be able to introduce these two performances.”