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Role of Fanny Brawne cast for Bright Star!!

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:03 pm
by Saturn
This might just wake you girls from your slumber...

Abbie Cornish?

I know the name but have never seen her work.

Looks too pretty for Fanny to be honest but this is Hollywood.

It looks like this film is about to start rolling :P

imdb wrote:Status: Pre-production
Comments: Looking to beginning production in late summer or early fall.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:13 pm
by Saturn
I guess the time for a petition and all that is gone...

Though I may start a thread on the imdb's page for the film calling for the immediate casting of Mr McAvoy in the role of Keats. :wink:

Scroll down the page and you'll see my thread.

Sign up to the imdb and post your approval!!!!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:43 am
by Malia
Neat update, Saturn! Wow, if casting is taking place this is a real deal! (Hooray!!) Anyway, I took a gander at some of the shots they have up of this Abbie Cornish and I can see her as a Regency gal. . .she's got a good "serious look". It can be hard to see someone in the role of a person that we've all got in our heads as looking and sounding a certain way, but what I look for is an attitude--an air, so to speak--and I can see a little Fanny Brawne in her air . . .I think :lol:

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:20 am
by Saturn
She's Australian - they are born with attitude :lol:

I googled her name and some of the photos that came up did convince me that yes, she could be Fanny.

It's hard to tell what Fanny really looked like. We have the early miniatures then the photo that was taken in her 50s [I think] but her real face is elusive. I never really thought of her as beautiful myself - high spirited, charming and flirtatious yes, but never exceptionally beautiful.

The point is Keats found her beautiful and that's all that matters.

If I were Keats I could quite easily fall in love with her:




**Drools pathetically**


PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:56 pm
by dks
I feel like a spoiler in saying this, but this film is not tickling me as much anymore--I think because of all the research I'm doing (and have done over the years) on him--there's just so much more to him than his romance with Fanny. I find myself wishing the movie was about him exclusively and that it inlcuded the romance in it. There is ample and lush material in his life for quite a biopic--light could be shed on Clarke's and other more ambiguous, but fascinating real life characters whom he knew and befriended, like Reynolds, Hunt, Hazlitt, Haydon, Bailey, Clarke, and Brown...I mean, I know they were enthralled with him and his work, but they themselves were quite intriguing people--even apart from Fanny Brawne. Plus, the pseudo-romance he had with Isabella Jones is quite interesting, as well...there's possibly more than meets the eye there, too.

This Abbie Cornish is lovely, though--no doubt the movie will be gorgeous to look at...I just so wanted to go see it with more than that in mind. I expect too much.

What the hell am I saying? I'm just obsessed. I'm no critic. I don't know sh**t.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:07 pm
by Malia
DKS, I know where you're coming from! I have a feeling that this movie will be a "romance" in the typical sense (albeit with a feminist flair) and I just have this strange feeling that Keats is not going to come out looking like the good guy, if you know what I mean. I, too, would be more interested in a biopic--definitely more of a focus on Keats coming into his own identity (even though, as a poet, he has no identity, right? ;) ). I would love to see his relationship with his brothers, his mother, and even his guardian really played out and wouldn't it be neat to see him at medical school? That's gruesome enough for today's discerning audience, isn't it? Basically, if we could get Aileen Ward's bio on the silver screen, I'd be happy--especially if the movie contained touches of the supernatural as seen through Keats's poetic imagination. But that kind of movie, I fear, would only appeal to us Keatsians. I always thought Keats's story would be well-suited for a 6-hour Masterpiece Theatre mini-series than a 2-1/2 hour movie focused primarily on his love affair which came quite late in his life.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:14 pm
by dks
Yes...sort of like an Aileen Ward/Robert Gittings fact-based docu-feature film meets The Brothers Grimm and A Beautiful Mind. I would be fascinating (and offer due justice) to his imaginative, poetic process to make a film that included supernatural elements to illustrate the inner-workings of his mind--perhaps as interpreted by scholars who have studied his work intensely. Yes...and medical school--just the whole fascinating story of the medical student turned poet--and how he coped with each successive tragedy in his young life while fostering within himself such "poetic powers of perception."

I think you should direct the film, Malia!

I don't know...perhaps it's simply the fact that his romance with Fanny Brawne is not what truly moves me about him...there's so much more...and I agree with you about this story ferrying a feminist bent--it may very well just do that, which would naturally undermine Keats the man--a defeating purpose, really, since that is one chief aspect Keats loved about Fanny's affection toward him--that she loved Keats the man, not Keats the poet. I'm conjecturing my way out of a paper bag here, I mean, Ms. Campion may not do that in her film...but, given her past films (and the way she depicts her male characters in them) and her general reputation with regard to her feminist attitudes, it is likely.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 5:38 pm
by Malia
Dks, as far as the supernatural aspect of a Keats movie is concerned, I always thought it would be cool to "get inside his head" while he is composing--that this composition would maybe initially be a way for him to retreat from his painful existence but while inside the "dream" of poetry, he would come to experience truth and beauty--in that light and shade way of his. Here's an example straight out of the Ward biography: Keats is working on re-tooling Hyperion (into the Fall of Hyperion). He's becoming ill with TB, it's beginning to freak him out, just working on Hyperion reminds him of his dead brother--and as he wanders into the fantasy of the poem itself--wandering through it as if in a dream--he comes upon Moneta. She tells him he must make it to the steps of the temple or die. He does so and when he makes it up the stairs and looks at the veiled figure with awe, he asks her how he should be so saved from death. She then reveals herself--with eyes glowing benign like the mild moon and in her face, he sees the image of his own mother--dead and yet so palpably alive in everything he does. It could be a powerful image.

I also would like to utilize the concepts of light and shade throughout the movie--interwoven into the action, as it were, rather than set apart as some kind of hard-hitting monologue. For example, the moment when Keats and Fanny first express their mutual love for one another, it should be cold and stormy outside--a very gray, wintery Christmastime. And yet Keats and Fanny display and express the warmth, the heat of a new love with their emotions.
Again, when Tom dies--we perhaps get a glimpse of Keats staring at the cold, dead body of his young brother and then, as he walks along to Brown's house to tell him Tom is dead, it could be a glorious--unseasonably warm and beautiful day. That would really drive home at least one of Keats's poetical philosophies in a very palpable way.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:01 pm
by dks
That would be brilliant! Yes...You could capture his "light and shade" philosophy so well on film. It could even be a bit mainstream-y...there could be scenes of him composing two of his famous odes--Nightingale and Grecian Urn...a gauzy, dream-like depcition of his 'flight' with the bird, eyes closed in the dark, flowers trembling everywhere at his feet--and the bird singing...and him actually watching the urn figures move about and listening to 'unheard melodies.' Certainly, too, you could also illustrate him tasting color as a synasthete--maybe while composing Eve of St. Agnes...while abruptly switching to a scene in his boyhood at Clarke's out in one of his very own melon or berry patches eating and sensating as he devours melons, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, this movie is exciting!

Where's the venture capital office? I'm in! I commission you to direct...

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:41 pm
by Credo Buffa
Wow, exciting update!

I don't like being one to judge the effectiveness of an actor for a particular role based solely on appearance, but I have to admit that I'm a bit miffed by Abbie Cornish being another one of Hollywood's beautiful people. I wish casting directors would just suck it up and cast an average-looking girl for once; romance is so much more interesting and complex when your key players don't look like people that anyone and everyone would fall for.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:49 pm
by Malia
Credo Buffa wrote:Wow, exciting update!

I don't like being one to judge the effectiveness of an actor for a particular role based solely on appearance, but I have to admit that I'm a bit miffed by Abbie Cornish being another one of Hollywood's beautiful people. I wish casting directors would just suck it up and cast an average-looking girl for once; romance is so much more interesting and complex when your key players don't look like people that anyone and everyone would fall for.

This is especially true when it comes to Fanny Brawne. She was *not* what everyone found attractive--though she wasn't a "dog" by any stretch of the imagination. I agree that it would be better to take a chance on an average person, as it were. It makes sense in this case and I think it would add to the story (it would certainly add to the sense we get that Keats is obssessed with Fanny if he is the only one who "gets" her "beauty").

I love the idea of average or even "ugly" people being the heros and heroines of stories. My favorite book is Jane Eyre and I so admire Charlotte Bronte for taking a stand and making her characters average looking--it adds to the story; it is great to see that it is what is inside (the characters' passions and souls) that really counts for something.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:07 pm
by Credo Buffa
I just watched a recent television adaptation of Persuasion last weekend that hit this idea right on the head. The actress who portrayed Anne Elliot was really what I would call an average-looking woman: someone you wouldn't really look twice at if you passed her on the street, someone who would blend into a crowd, however else you define average. Pairing her, then, with the very handsome and eligible Captain Wentworth, and comparing her with her prettier rivals, was all the more telling. His wanting to be with her above anyone emphasized the emotional and almost spiritual connection between them that wouldn't have felt so strong had she been beautiful, and certainly says a lot about the quality of both of their characters without having to make overt efforts.

Like you say, Malia, it is much more interesting to examine Keats's attraction to Fanny because she wasn't beautiful, yet he was one to place beauty on such a high pedestal. It's all about pondering what it is about that one man/woman that makes him/her romantically attractive to one person and not another. Beautiful people don't make you ask those questions.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:38 pm
by AsphodelElysium
Hello Everyone,

I'm new here but I have been a Keats fan for a long time and I actually have a bit of news concerning the movie. I'm a bit nervous about announcing it. Just please don't shoot the messenger. I don't believe it has been posted yet (if it has, please forgive me) but they've cast an actor for John. His name is Ben Whishaw. Here is a link to some pictures.

I wanted James McAvoy too, but I think Whishaw's hair is about right, if it was a touch more red. In any case, here it is. I hope I won't be forever barred for this. :(

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:47 pm
by Malia
Shoot the messenger? No, indeed! And welcome to the forum! Thanks for the info and the pictures--this is really exciting news. I can totally see, at least in a physical sense, this guy playing Keats. I guess I have very low requirements when it comes to someone playing Keats (pysically speaking, anyway). He has to be *young*, shorter in stature, and have a reasonable amount of energy about him. :lol: I've seen some dramatizations (and heard some audio recordings of people reading Keats's poems/letters) where Keats is a 40 year old man--or, in the case of audio recordings, he sounds like a 70-year-old Alistaire Cooke. That totally grates on my nerves as it completely wipes out his youth and the profound fact that he wrote these amazing things in his early 20's.

If you have any more news about the movie--or any other thoughts to share, please feel free and welcome here :)

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:57 pm
by dks
Yes, thanks AE. I didn't see where it said anywhere in the link that he was cast as Keats, though. Is that for certain? Or did I miss it?

Oh well. It's probably better this way. If they had cast our man McAvoy, I'd have fallen more in love with the fantasy than I already am--and we probably don't want to go there... :lol:

Ok...I now see the IMDB page where he is officially credited with being cast as Keats... :? Little Benny Whishaw had better study up!!