Wordsworth famously defined poetry as "emotion recollected in tranquility," which may explain why it’s been so long ignored in movies: emotion is always welcome onscreen; tranquility, not so much. This enveloping romance from Jane Campion (The Piano) recounts the three-year love affair between the young Romantic poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and his teenage next-door neighbor, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), and its great distinction lies in re-creating an age when thoughts and feelings were to be carefully considered and precisely enunciated. The best costumers, set designers, and property masters can’t conjure up the mental and emotional spaces of a simpler era; that requires a filmmaker who knows the virtue of quiet, patience, and attentiveness. PG, 119 min.
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