Monday, January 11, 2010

A little less than bright, that star, eh?


I've got this thing for poetic boy-types. Isn't he lovely? It's Ben Whishaw playing John Keats in Jane Campion's new film Bright Star, which I took myself to see yesterday (primarily because no-one would come with me; "Are you kidding? That looks like shit" being the most frequent response to my "Wanna come with?").

The best things about the film were:

1. Ben Whishaw playing John Keats
2. Ben Whishaw's lovely eyes and great hair, perfect for playing Keats
3. Ben Whishaw's ink stained fingers playing Keats (bless!)
4. Ben Whishaw reading 'Ode to a Nightingale' during the closing credits (after playing Keats), and
5. The 119 minutes the film gave me to look at Ben Whishaw.

Apart from Ben, the film was largely disappointing. No historical or literary context, no introduction to Charles Armitage Brown (or Fanny Brawne, for that matter), no pulling on the heart strings (and come on, this was Keats for chrissake: brilliant, dead at 25, great hair, and etc.).

Bright Star is a love story that didn't make me fall in love with Keats-and-Brawne (just Ben Whishaw).

Have you seen it? Would you see it?


the projectivist said...

he does have nice hair, doesn't he?

what about cravats? was there much in the way of a decent cravat?

did you at least have one of those chocolate covered, cherry ice creams? mmmm... i could eat one of those right now.

Kettle said...

I can't remember cravats so much (bit distracted by the hair) but there were lots of puffy shirts, remarkably white puffy shirts for grimy nineteenth century England, but nevertheless, Ben looked most fetching in them.

Cherry ice creams? How marvellous. It's good to live in the 21st century, eh.

[Damn you for mentioning cherry ice creams!]

words, wine, coffee, art said...

Kettle, you can't be the only odd little soul wishing to see Bright Star. We tried to see it at the weekend, but it was booked out the whole time!

Kettle said...

Gosh, Words and Wine, really? Perhaps the problem is that I'm an odd little soul living in the wrong city; if the movie was booked out the whole weekend where you are that means there's a whole city of odd little souls out there. Huzzah!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

So it's cravats you want, eh?

Maybe they should have got Matt Preston to portray Keats.

Kettle said...

Is that our only other option, Ramon?

Gosh, how did Campion choose between Whishaw and Preston? That's a toughy.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Matt Preston has nice hair.

"My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness...oh, is that a pie?"

Kettle said...

Ha ha, Ramon! It's as difficult to know where Keats stops and Matt Preston begins in those lines as it is to tell where Ben Whishaw stops and Matt Preston begins...

Do you really think Mr Preston has nice hair? I never thought I'd be discussing hair niceness with a communist revolutions expert.

squib said...

I want to see it but, for reasons I can't go into, I have blacklisted it and so cannot

Kettle said...

Squib Squib Squib... please please please tell!

You must.

Kettle said...

PS Ramon, you're not Matt Preston are you? What with that nice hair comment and all...

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Kettle, I like to think I can discuss hair niceness and communist revolutions in equal measure.

I'm a Renaissance man like that.

Kettle said...

That is very impressive, Ramon. I've always wanted to be a Renaissance man except I'm not a man and know almost nothing about communist revolutions.

I do, however, know a great deal about chignons so feel confident I could contribute on the hair niceness conversational front. Also I'm quite an expert on good-looking poet-boys like Ben Whishaw; plenty to say on that.

Leilani said...

Oh I loved it. Sure, it was no Alvin and the Chipmunks, but it had some lovely scenes.

I thought Abbie Cornish was delightful. I did want to know more about Brown but I just loved the way the character was portrayed - what a prick. He played it so well.

I, in fact, saw it twice. Taking my 11 year-old second time around.

Kettle said...

Oh damnit you're right, Leilani. You're being very reasonable and that doesn't sit with my unqualified disgruntings at all. It was a beautiful film in many respects, and Brown was very effectively portrayed (my God what a bastard).

Either way, seeing the film has made me revisit Keats and that's always good. Also I'm keen to read Andrew Motion's biography now to see what he makes of it all.

And in addition to a reminder to be reasonable, your comment has inspired me to see Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Leilani said...

Oh don't see Alvin and the Chipmunks! I refused to go but my husband took the kids and said it was woeful - exactly as you would expect.

Do you know anything about Brown? I am interested to know if he enjoyed any success as a poet and if he really did knock up the maid.

I did do a bit of Brawne googling and loved the fact she married someone 12 years younger, had a family and never breathed a word of her love for Keats. She did tell her kids about his letters and only to sell them after she and her husband had passed on. So you know, respect.

Kettle said...

I'm not sure about Brown, Leilani, although he's not in my 'Seven Centuries of English Poetry (Revised Edition)' from first year uni so he can't be that good (haw haw). If I can find the Andrew Motion biography I'll see what he says about Brown and report back.

Ooh I love a literary adventure in the archives!