How do you guarantee yourself an Oscar nomination? It’s a very simple formula that the movie Bright Star is following to a tee. Hire a director with a previous Oscar nomination. Check. Jane Campion (The Piano). Based it on a true story, preferably about someone famous. Bonus if it’s a poet. Check. It’s about the love affair between John Keats (Ben Whishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Have someone die in the end. Check. The affair was cut short because of Keats’ untimely death. Set the movie in the 19th Century. Ensure that everyone wears frilly things and that they speak in English accents (bonus points if the actors are actually British). Check. Check. And check.
But most importantly, ensure that the subject material and the trailer is so unbelievably dull that no one will actually watch the movie. The Academy will simply nominate the film based on the above factors without ever actually seeing it. Because why would you watch a period drama about dead English dudes in frills around the same time that Sherlock Holmes opens?
Oh, but wait! There’s no one in this movie with the name of Hugh. Automatic disqualification! Thanks for playing. Please try again.
Here’s the trailer for Bright Star. Sure, it looks great. If you can stay awake.