Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Abbie Cornish is to star in a new film by New Zealand director Jane Campion that is based on the romance between early-nineteenth-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, reports Emily Dunn in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Cornish is best known in Australia for her role in the film Somersault, where she played a runaway. The movie was memorably set in the Australian Alps. In it, Cornish plays Heidi, who leaves home when her mother discovers her by accident in the same bed as her (the mother's) boyfriend. It is a striking scene in a film with many more.

Jindabyne, where the film is set, provides a lyrical background for what has been called "a young girl's sexual awakening". There are some nude scenes. But the characters are refreshingly Aussie without becoming charicatures.

In fact, the film is quite complex. The relationships forged between Heidi and those she comes into contact with are fraught with drama due to the fact that she is alone in a world she is, theoretically, at 16, not yet ready for. The possibility of exploitation is ever-present, causing the viewer to sympathise with Heidi even when she is doing the wrong, or a stupid, thing.

The many secondary roles in the film also provide drama and interest.

Cornish was very much up to the challenges of the film, I thought. I look forward to seeing how she adapts to the very different demands of a period drama.

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