A Quiet Passion
Directed by Terence Davies
Certificate 12a, 126 minutes
Released 7 April 2017
A stern matriarch divides a school room of young women into those who are saved on one side and those who hope to be saved on the other. This leaves Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) in the middle because she hasn’t got as far as that yet. Rescued from the seminary by her father Edward (Keith Carradine), Emily confesses that she was suffering from ‘evangelism’.
Thus begins the latest film from the British, Catholic director Terence Davies – a biopic of the 19th-century, US poet Emily Dickinson, from her leaving school, through her life as a single woman in an era when women were supposed to marry and have children, to her death. Directed with Davies’ usual visual, cinematic rigour and punctuated by large chunks of Dickinson’s poetry in voice-over, the film also drips Christianity. It never attempts to convert anyone, but neither does it shy away from portraying a household in the southern states where faith and theology are everyday discussion topics. [Read more…]
Full review in Reform magazine, April 2017.