"Bright Star" just opened with luminous reviews, scoring 81 at Metacritic. The L.A. Times calls this dramatization of poet John Keats' (Ben Whishaw) tragic love affair with the girl next door (Abbie Cornish) "one of the most moving, most transporting love stories in memory," adding, "'Bright Star' is masterfully put-together, made with confidence, intelligence and command." The Washington Post hails it as the "rare genuinely transporting movie," and Entertainment Weekly gives it a high score of A-.
Oscar nominations are possible for best picture, director and screenplay (Jane Campion, who won an Academy Award for penning 1993 best picture nominee "The Piano").
Most Oscarologists are eyeballing Cornish's place in the lead actress derby. The New York Times compares her to the most recent winner of that award: "Ms. Cornish, an Australian actress whose previous films include 'Stop-Loss,' 'Candy' and 'Somersault,' has, at 27, achieved a mixture of unguardedness and self-control matched by few actresses of any age or nationality. She's as good as Kate Winslet, which is about as good as it’s possible to be."
Watch Gold Derby's video chat with Cornish here. Check out what our posters think of "Bright Star" in our forums. And weigh up her chances against other Sony Pictures Classics contenders Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Audrey Tatou ("Coco Before Chanel") by voting here.
Cornish's other chief rivals seem to be Marion Cotillard ("Nine"), Helen Mirren ("The Last Station"), Michelle Monaghan ("Trucker"), Saoirse Ronan ("The Lovely Bones"), Gabby Sidibe ("Precious"), Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia") and Hilary Swank ("Amelia").