Absent Emotion Dims Bright Star

This movie, about the romance between the poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, has been playing for some time and still draws large audiences. The main characters are John Keats (Ben Whishaw), Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), and Keats' best friend, Charles Brown (Paul Schneider). The film was written and directed by Jane Campion.

Keats, who is too poor to marry Fanny, ultimately becomes ill, probably dying of tuberculosis although the illness is not named. He eventually travels to Rome - shortly before his death - in the hope that the warmer climate will improve his health.

The New York Times critic A.O. Scott, who loved this period piece, wrote: "That Fanny and Keats must sublimate their longings in letters, poems and conversations seems cruel, but they make the best of it. As does Ms. Campion: a sequence in which, fully clothed, the couple trades stanzas of 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci' in a half-darkened bedroom must surely count as one of the hottest sex scenes in recent cinema."

I was in no way moved by this scene and found the film to be bland and boring. Wonderful attention is paid to detail, however, including clothing, furniture and highly-stylized behavior. What is missing is emotion.

I am sure many moviegoers will be attracted to this film, because of the "period" aspects and the poetry. PT told me that she and two female friends saw it together and loved it, but she knew I would not. She was right. I did not feel the poetic creation and amatory passion that so beguiled A. O. Scott. 

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Ed Koch was mayor of NYC from 1978 to 1989. He's credited with restoring fiscal stability to the city and creating affordable housing. He's also a film buff. More

Mayor Koch saved New York City from bankruptcy and restored the pride of New Yorkers during his three terms as mayor from 1978-1989. He restored fiscal stability by placing the city on a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) balanced budget. He created a housing program that provided more than 150,000 units of affordable housing and created New York City's first merit judicial selection system. Prior to being mayor, Mr. Koch served for nine years as a congressman and two years as a member of the New York City Council. He attended City College of New York from 1941 to 1943. He was drafted into the Army his last year of college and served with the 104th Infantry Division. He received two battle stars and was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1946. He received his LL.B. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1948 and began to practice law immediately thereafter. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP and hosts a call-in radio program on Bloomberg AM 1130 (WBBR). Mr. Koch appears weekly on NY1 television and is the author of ten autobiographical books.

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