A Quiet Passion

A Quiet Passion

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Terence Davies' biographical drama detailing the story of American poet Emily Dickinson, from her early days as a young schoolgirl, to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

We first encounter young Emily at home and school, where she is an energetic girl exasperating her teachers by refusing to accept their strictures on religion. Later the film changes mood, as Dickinson is confronted with illness, death and disappointment.

This very faithful recreation of Dickinson’s world never feels stolid. The fluid cinematography - those wonderful gliding shots that are found in many of Davies’s films (‘Sunset Song’, ‘Distant Voices Still Lives’) - and sheer liveliness of the writing and performances add energy to the storytelling. From time to time, we hear passages of Dickinson’s verse beautifully read by Nixon. This is an exceptional film with a searing central performance from Cynthia Nixon.