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Aro Recommended A Quiet Passion

 

UK 2016, 120 minutes
Dir. Terence Davies
Rating: [M] Adult themes.
Genres: Drama

 

“possesses a poetic sensibility perfectly suited to its subject and a deep, idiosyncratic intuition about what might have made Emily Dickinson tick”~A. O. Scott, The New York Times

Aroview: The reclusive 19th Century poet Emily Dickinson is the worthy subject of this quietly mesmerising biopic, a stand-out in the career of director Terence Davies.

Cynthia Nixon is brilliant in the lead role, conveying the complexities of a character filled with sharp intellectual vigor and wonder at the beauty of life, but who descends gradually into a deep melancholy and self-imposed isolation. The script unflinchingly portrays Dickinson's profound misery in the face of sickness and death, utilising lines from Dickinson's most deeply pessimistic poems about mortality.

Though less hard-hitting as a critique of gender-based oppression compared with Davies' HOUSE OF MIRTH, this is still at heart a film about the fate of a breathtakingly talented and capable woman at the hands of 19th century social and religious conservatism, who remained tragically unknown and barely published until after her death.

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