Starring Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw. Co-starring: Paul Schneider, Thomas Sangster, Samuel Barnett and Kerry Fox
Synopsis A biopic with a romantic focus, it tells the story of the doomed love affair between Fannie Brown and the poet John Keats who died at only 25 by way of period cinema's most fearsome killer: tuberculosis. Cough once and you're dead by the end of the picture.
Brought to you by a merciful god for Jane Campion is back.
Expected release date god only knows
Nathaniel: I've just noticed that this list is rather filled with auteurs who are notoriously slow about actually making movies and Campion fits that bill though we didn't expect she would at first. After the international success of her masterpiece The Piano sixteen long years ago, it seemed like we'd be spending a lot of time wrestling with her inimitable voice and forceful humanist vision. She followed The Piano with a literary adaptation (Portrait of a Lady), a bizarre but intermittently brilliant deprogramming drama (Holy Smoke!) and one reviled genre mashup (In the Cut). Then she disappeared.
Here's to her reappearing act, Bright Star. Let's hope it's an artistic "comeback" to put it in reductive popular context. I have no great love for the biopic genre but I groove to doomed celluloid romances so I'm curious and excited. Campion has never made a film that's less than very interesting (In the Cut doesn't quite work but it's better than its rep) and she's working with a cast of young actors who may be going places.
Whitney: Jane Campion is quite amazing. Her last biopic (An Angel at my Table) is in my top five favorite films.
Nathaniel: And that one also stars the fearless Kerry Fox (who went down on co-stars long before Chlöe Sevigny agreed to service Vincent Gallo... but that's a topic for another post. Or perhaps better left alone entirely). Here's to the Campion/Fox reunion.
JA: Even amid all y'all's enthusiasm I remain cold. It'll depend on the reviews for me. I liked The Piano and I know I've seen Campion's other films but remember approximately zero-point-zero-zero about any of them (save how hot Mark Ruffalo looked with that 'stache in In The Cut).
Joe: Campion tends to make movies that fascinate me, even if I don't ever end up loving them (full disclosure: I've never seen The Portrait of a Lady -- last I checked it wasn't available via Netflix, which: WTF?). In the Cut is a fascinating failure, Holy Smoke! a fascinating mess. Obviously, I'm hoping this is an actual success, both for Jane, and also for my brand new favorite wispy English brooder Ben Whishaw. Love that kid!
Nathaniel: The rest of the cast compels, too. Abbie Cornish still hasn't really lived up to that initial "next big thing" buzz -- it must be so much pressure to be an actor from Australia these days post Russell, Cate, Hugh, Nicole, Naomi and Heath! -- but if anyone can sell me on her worth, it'll probably be Campion. Among the co-stars Schneider has been winning in a few movies recently (Lars and the Real Girl, Jesse James) and I hope Barnett sings again. Remember him crooning in The History Boys?
Readers... are there too many biopics on writers? Will you ever understand what Ryan Phillipe sees in Abbie Cornish? Will this be Jane Campion's ticket back to the Oscars in February 2010?
In case you missed any entries they went like so...
We Can't Wait:
#1 Inglourious Basterds, #2 Where the Wild Things Are, #3 Fantastic Mr. Fox,
#4 Avatar, #5 Bright Star, #6 Shutter Island, #7 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
#8 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, #9 Nailed, #10 Taking Woodstock,
#11 Watchmen, #12 The Hurt Locker, #13 The Road, #14 The Tree of Life
#15 Away We Go, #16 500 Days of Summer, #17 Drag Me To Hell,
#18 Whatever Works, #19 Broken Embraces, #20 Nine (the musical)
intro (orphans -didn't make group list)