By Adam Spunberg

I would call Bright Star a delightful film, but it didn’t leave me (or any viewer, I presume) with much delight. Is it possible for something, so rooted in longing and hopelessness, to be pleasant? Do we find joy in delving into despondency, when that somber-inhibitor is done so well?

There were simply too many great movies in 2009 for me to give Bright Star an Oscar look, but it was worthy of my time and deeply touching. There are a few moments of sweet romance, simply raw, that catch the viewer unexpectedly. Even the poet John Keats and Miss Frances Brawne seem to question why they should ever love each other, but they do, to the point of fatalism.

Maybe we are spoiled in these modern times, to look back on fettered love stories and pass judgment on the inanity of it all. Boy loves girl, girl loves boy. So what if boy is a poor poet? Why should human beings ever torture themselves to such a degree, and can love truly be this wretched?

Bright Star evokes these kinds of emotions. Within the starcrossed yearning are some lovely scenes, and if you are of the disposition to contemplate the potency of love — supernatural in its grandeur, and crippling in its torment — then add it to your queue with gusto.