every now and then a film comes along that is just so exquisite, it’s beyond belief. it’s like an intricate piece of origami, put together with precise, delicate movements.
jane campion has been making these films all her career — the piano, the portrait of a lady — but for mine this is the best she’s ever made.
the cast is brilliant. abbie cornish and ben whishaw play fanny brawne and john keats.
i thought i hadn’t seen much of cornish, but then i look at her list of films and realise that i have — she was in somersault, elizabeth: the golden age, and stop-loss, all of which i’ve seen — but from now on i’ll be looking for her specifically. her performance in this is simply stellar. i don’t often shed a tear over period pieces but cornish got me … twice. brilliant.
whishaw has also largely eluded me although i did see a couple of episodes of his mini-series criminal justice the last time i was in england. as keats he’s terrific … almost transparent he’s so frail and … well, poetic, frankly.
the supporting cast are lovely too. particularly fond of young thomas sangster who plays the quiet, protective younger brother perfectly. you may remember him as liam neeson’s son in love, actually not to mention the original nanny mcphee.
look, it’s all beautiful. there isn’t a misplaced word, deed or movement. this goes alongside emma thompson’s sense and sensibility as my favourite period piece.
in a word: GORGEOUS.