Year of release: 2009
Director: Jane Campion
Stars: Abbie Cornish, Ben Wishaw, Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox, Edie Martin, Thomas Sangster, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Gerard Monaco
Genre: Drama, Biography
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Synopsis:Jane Campion's new film, following "In the Cut", traces the life of poet John Keats, focusing however more in the woman that inspired his work and fulfilled his heart, Fanny Brawne. The film introduces us to Fanny, a young woman filled with spirit and with a strong personality, who designs and creates her own clothes and costumes. She's outspoken, strong willed and not shy to voice her opinions. She meets the quiet John Keats, who is living with Charles Brown, another writer, whom with Franny clashes constantly. However the relationship with Keats progresses and they slowly fall in love. Keats' shy and quiet personality bounces off Fanny's more effervescent and strong one, however he has no income and is deemed unsuitable to propose. When his illness appears, his friends decided to send him to Italy in the hopes the sunny weather will make him feel better. Jane Campion as usual in her films, follows the life of a woman to whom conventions are largely disregarded. Her Fanny Brawne comes in the tradition of her previous films and "heroines", namely Janet Frame from "An Angel at My Table", Ada from "The Piano" and Isabel from "The Portrait of a Lady". Fanny follows her heart, against conventions, against constant opponents. She's resilient and yet frail in her approach towards love. Jane Campion manages to create a beautiful film that is an ode to poetry and first love, taking the time to create a sense of proximity and closeness with the central pair. The acting is also fantastic, with Abbie Cornish doing a fantastic job as Franny, Ben Wishaw as John Keats and Paul Schneider as Charles Brown. A fantastic film waiting to be discovered.