Pick of the Day: Bright Star

Directed by Jane Campion (The Piano), this biopic details a brief love affair between British poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his neighbour Fanny Brawne (Abby Cornish). Considering Keats, a leading figure along with Byron and Shelley of the Romantic period who was born in central London in 1795, died at age 25 (likely from tuberculosis in Rome) pretty much everything about his life would qualify as brief. In Campion's film, we see him through the eyes of the pragmatic Fanny -- a dressmaker who defied convention to fall in love with the penniless poet. Author of such classic works as Ode to a Nightengale and Ode on a Grecian Urn, Keats, in his short life, epitomized the romantic ideal of the impoverished artist. That ideal still operates, of course. Pretty much the only reason we have art in our money-grubbing society is because a small segment of the population, similar to Keats in his day, is willing to sacrifice virtually everything -- their financial well-being, their social standing, even their health, in order to create. If you see this film, please keep that in mind. Here's the trailer. (YouTube)

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