Monday, 16 November 2009


Having advertised my intention to go and see the Keats biopic Bright Star, I thought I'd share my reactions.

I was somewhat apprehensive about the film, having read and heard diversely differing opinions of its quality and worth. Furthermore, because I had organised the outing - although the person accompanying me did so withour duress or protest - I felt perversely responsible for her experience. As it happened, we both thought the film was intensely moving without ever being sentimental, and beautifully shot and scored. The two lead actors were magnificent throughout, and (although this could be due to my seeing too few films) I couldn't identify them with any other major roles, a fact which gave an extra freshness to their performance. There was also an admirable lack of overt explanation in the film, with no clumsy exposition describing exactly who was who or what a Romantic poet was. This gave me the feeling of having been plunged in media res into this compelling story of love, poverty and creativity.

If this doesn't make me read the Andrew Motion biography that's been sitting harvesting dust on my bookshelves for some years (the director acknowledges her debt to this book) then nothing will. I'll just have to gird myself and overcome my deep-seated fear of enormous books.


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