One of those period pieces set in England about people whose determination to live full, rich lives is frustrated by the rigid social system of the day. This one deals with a three-year period in the life of 19th-century romantic poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw), but the primary focus is on a determined, independent woman, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) no surprise, given that the movie is written and directed by Jane Campion (The Piano
, The Portrait of a Lady
). Films in this genre usually try my patience and make me drowsy. What jump-starts the story is Keats' friend and benefactor, Charles Armitage Brown, beautifully portrayed by Paul Schneider (All the Real Girls
, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
, Parks and Recreation
) one of my favorite actors. Mr Brown is smart, robust and rude, challenging Fanny at every turn. In a story full of people moving about slowly and carefully, he adds a welcome dose of spontaneity and vigor. Plus, he acts like a monkey in one scene and who doesn't like watching somebody act like a monkey? 119 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes a deleted scene and some interviews.