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"This is a masterful piece of film-making, with many themes simmering and occasionally boiling over in this warts and all study of the poet's bohemian, self-indulgent wartime years that span the aerial bombardments of London and the outward tranquillity of a Welsh coastal retreat - the borderlines between friendship, lust and love, dedication to art and experience versus practical concerns, jealousy, rivalry, cowardice and egotism versus heroism and self-sacrifice and more. A mature, subtle script that suggests and occasionally brings into dramatic focus the underlying tensions is well served by perfect performances (apart from the odd inappropriate smiling that Keira Knightley is prone to, though perhaps under direction this time as the other characters themselves often mention it). But above all the exquisite visual composition of each moment, with inventive and elegant use of close-up, camera angle and lighting, including pointillistic faux home movie footage, is a wonder and joy to behold. It's as continuously beautiful to look at as the Conformist, but the relationships here are more convincing and the narrative more engaging. A very rare type of film these days - it holds the attention and stirs the emotions without abandoning artistic integrity and succumbing to manipulative, superficial shortcuts."

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