FilmA Quiet Passion

Monday June 19th, 2017 at 7 PM


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Terence Davies · UK · 2016 · 126 mins · PG

FIVE STARS! Great British filmmaker Terence Davies turns his attention to great American poet Emily Dickinson in this remarkable biopic. This delicate and thoughtful film – small in scale but brimming with the quiet passion of the title – imagines the life of the nineteenth-century American poet, played with brittle intensity by ‘Sex and the City’ star Cynthia Dixon. You’ll find that this is a film with endless wit, wordplay and wry observation hidden under its bonnet. Like Dickinson, it finds humour in pompousness, and it finds subtle ways – often through playing with light and time – of making us feel, strongly, how Dickinson ached with the joy and pain of her world.

‘A Quiet Passion’ is set almost entirely within the Massachusetts home where Dickinson, who grew increasingly unwell and solitary in adulthood, was raised and lived until her death in 1886. We hear Dickinson’s poems, few of which were published in her lifetime, mostly in voiceover, while we witness the intensity of her relationship with her parents (Keith Carradine, Joanna Bacon) and siblings (Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff).

A scene where we watch the Dickinson family, one by one, grow old in front of a photographer’s lens, is one for the ages. It’s rare to see a film that makes such subtle sense of an artist’s life and mind. --Time Out LondonMr. Davies, whose work often blends public history and private memory, possesses a poetic sensibility perfectly suited to his subject. The New York TimesI’m thrilled to say that it’s an absolute drop-dead masterwork. The New YorkerCast Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff

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