Bright Star - Jane Campion, 2009
It's a damn shame they chose to make this film a biopic instead of focussing on a fictional poet who could have had a more interesting life. The film is bland and painfully straight-forward, without an interesting subplot or music or pretty shots or anything at all to break up the monotony. The poetry became tiresome as it dragged on; emotion was conveyed more effectively in the everyday explanations such as when John explains that you don't dive into a lake to go to the shore, but to luxuriate in the water. These musings kept things afloat but they were all too infrequent. Also, comparing Abbie Cornish's solid performance here with Carey Mulligan's brilliant turn in An Education is a bit embarrassing as well. 5.5/10.
I can't agree with you at all, especially the bolded part. I also saw this a couple of days ago, and thought it was incredibly beautiful. The composition of so many of the shots was so carefully planned and executed, and I found the way Campion and her director of photography used doorways and windows both to frame people/scenes and to bathe the film in that achingly bright sunlight absolutely stunning.
Where you call the film bland and painfully straight-forward, I would call it perfectly paced and understated in that it allowed me to share in Fanny's journey of (slowly, reluctantly) discovering poetry, the man John Keats, and ultimately, herself. And I can't even begin to express how impressed I was by Abbie Cornish's performance.
I will say that I can totally see how this film isn't for everyone - but for me, who loves all the things this film is (British period costume drama with literary theme), it was pretty much perfect.