This movie is the heart wrenching tale of the borderline forbidden relationship between the poet John Keats and his muse Fanny Brawne in 19th Century England. It is beautifully written and directed by Jane Campion. Every finite expression is captured by the principal actors in this slow moving and gorgeous story. Fanny makes all her own gowns and dresses and so visually this movie is uplifted by her extraordinary clothing.
I am not sure whether or not this was the case in reality but it just adds to the stunning cinematography. When she is walking in a field of bluebells in a magnificent gown I was captivated. John’s best friend, mentor and financial support comes in the form of another poet, Brown, who is extremely critical of the ways of Ms. Brawne as well as the fate that would inevitably come to their forbidden love. Keats is unable to support himself financially, let alone a wife and especially one who is relatively well to do, hence the reason they should not be together. But who can control the overwhelming passion they obviously feel for each other. Fanny’s mother and her friends try to coerce the situation by moving Keats away to London but he is drawn back to her in what becomes the beginning of his undoing. How we can actually begin to understand this is sometimes impossible as holding hands was considered an extremely forward act let alone actually embracing and kissing. This is a stunning movie well worth your time and you also begin to understand the emotion behind the poetry of one of the world’s greatest poets of all time.