A Quiet Passion (12A)
The film follows young Emily Dickinson (Emma Bell) from her time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary to her later years
(now played by Cynthia Nixon), when she writes her poetry late at night with the blessing of her pious father, Edward (Keith Carradine).
In early scenes, Emily’s reluctance to slavishly follow teachings – her soul is her own, not God’s – annoys her educators.
She returns home less than a year into her studies and repeatedly clashes with her father, a prominent politician, who stridently imposes his will on his children.
He does agree, however, that Emily can write verse behind closed doors in the dead of night and she is published anonymously in the Springfield Republican. Supported by her doting sister Vinnie (Jennifer Ehle) and frequently visited by their friend Vryling Buffam (Catherine Bailey), Emily settles into an almost hermetic existence at the family home, where she observes the minutiae of society life and passes judgment on the work of the Brontës.
While her brother Austin (Duncan Duff ) embarks on an adulterous affair with Mabel Todd (Noemie Schellens),
Emily remains alone and aloof, untouched by Cupid’s arrow.
A Quiet Passion is a dense and exceedingly wordy tribute to a trailblazer at odds with the prevailing moods of the era.
POET: Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Passion.