Film Review: Bright Star (2009)

Brief Summary: Bright Star revolves around the three-year romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne. Fanny is a peculiar young woman who, at first, has little interest in poetry. When she meets the enigmatic Keats, she purchases a copy of his book of poems, wanting to figure out for herself whether Keats is an idiot or not. After reading his work, she confesses to him: “I wanted to love it—But…” In other words, she didn’t like his poems.

However, as her interest in this man grows, so does her appreciation for poetry. She is awakened by him. Once Fanny and Keats fall in love, they are plunged into an obsessive relationship that changes the whole course of their lives.

Thoughts: I watched this movie with great expectations. And I stress the word ‘GREAT’. Perhaps it was due to this soaring expectation that I ended up feeling VERY disappointed by the end of this film.

Bright Star did begin superbly, captivating me with its lovely opening soundtrack, but my interest waned after Fanny and Keats discovered their love for each other. I felt that this discovery occurred too quickly, with too little development. Hence, when Fanny goes into this obsessive I-can’t-live-without-him attitude, she inspired little sympathy in me. My heart did not cry for her when she cried.


Another reason I felt so little for heartbreaking love-story was due to how short and undeveloped some of the scenes between Keats and Fanny were. Where the emotions could have been developed and intensified, instead, the director chose to end the scene and skip over a whole passage in time to another moment in their relationship.


Now that I have lowered your expectations about this movie, go watch it. You might like it. My sister certainly did. She was bawling her eyes out by the end of the movie.

Period Movie Collection

9 thoughts on “Film Review: Bright Star (2009)

  1. It seems I am always the first to comment on your blog… *hides face

    But yes, I saw Bright Star a while ago, and I agree with you, it wasn’t really the best of films in terms of engaging the audience. The cinematography was just lovely, though. And I did tear up during some of the scenes – *high fives June’s siter* – but those tears were short-lived. I rather think The Young Victoria and Marie Attoinette were done better..I mean in executing that quiet frames, little-dialogue style.

    June, your review was well-put. 😀


    • Kim! You’re always beating me to it. You beat me by watching Fanny Hill first, and then Bright Star even before me. Watch. When the next period movie comes out, I’ll zoom to the theatres, haha.

      Ok. I confess I DID tear up–but it was like…a single drop. A tear from a yawn would be comparable. But yes. Like yourself, the heart ache was short lived. If I had been more engaged with their love story I would have bawled and bawled until I was shuttering. Like Phantom of the Opera. The chemistry was great there.

      Thanks for always dropping by! It means so much to me, really.


  2. I’m sorry you didn’t like it, June! I’m still waiting for a good moment to watch my brand new DVD of Bright Star. I’ve read much about it and … know several things about real Keats (having to study and teach his work from time to time – not this year for example). Anyhow… Let’s see what my impressions will be. Of course, I’ll post about it. I can’t say much more for now. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    • Ohh I cannot wait until I read your review of Bright Star. Notify me when you do! I’m going to go drop by your blog and see if there’s any way to subscribe to your blog. I never know when you update. I end up not visiting for days and days, and when I do finally check up, I see I have five posts to catch up on.

      I think….you might like the movie. Not entirely sure…. Maybe you’ll have a greater appreciation for it as you know more about Keats…


  3. I’ve just watched this movie (only recently it was released in my country) and I couldn’t agree more with you! I didn’t like it at all! I couldn’t feel a thing for them. It was absolutely ridiculous for me the way they fell in love and how the relationship developed! Terrible! I couldn’t stop thinking how bad things were going to develop in the future if they did marry. They didn’t have a thing in common! Any way… I have not seen good writer’s bio pics lately…


    • I still cringe a bit each time i come across thie poster for this movie. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Very disappointing. It could have been so much better… And I agree with you. It would have been horrible if they married in the end. An emotional wreck the two of them would have ended up becoming.

      I, too, have not seen a good writer’s bio lately. Hmmm the best one I’ve seen in the past would have to be….ummm…..’Miss Austen Regrets’ That was pretty good. Did you see it? A very subtle, moving series.


      • I didn’t see “Miss Austen Regrets”, is it really good? I hated “Becoming Jane”. I mean, the story was quite nice but it just wasn’t Jane Austen at all!


      • It’s a subtle drama. No melodrama like Bright Star. Nay, Miss Austen Regrets is more realistic. I think you might like it. Watch it, when you have time, and share with us followers what you think! 🙂


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