Cannes 2009: Bright Star shines

Palme d’Or winner Jane Campion (The Piano) returned to the Croisette with a similarly sensitive, sensual tale, Bright Star.

The story of a secret love affair between penniless poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and fashion student Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), it is a warm, poignant tale that bursts with rich language and exquisite visuals.

It also contains a fair share of heartache, with John and Fanny’s pure love skidding into areas of obsession and co-dependency, while the couple’s friends – and society, no less – look on with clucking disapproval.

Throw the stain of Keats’ illness into the mix and it’s clear that Bright Star is going to be more than an oh-so-pretty tale of intoxicating wordplay and nodding flowers.

It would be a huge surprise if Bright Star garnered Campion her second Palme d’Or, but its presence in the competition is a welcome one.