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A Quiet Passion

Directed by Terence Davies

UK, 2016

HOME, 20 April 2017

A Quiet Passion

This is a biopic of the poet Emily Dickinson.

It is quite a long film and that is part of its character and charm. You suspect Terence Davies wanted to make an old fashioned weepie, a Gone with the Wind or a Bette Davis-type affair, the sort of melodrama that you used to see on BBC2 on Sunday afternoons, and in this he has succeeded admirably.

There is a brilliant performance by Cynthia Nixon as the poet and you get to hear a lot of the poetry as well. You really need to read it on the page, mind, as Dickinson herself is made to say here: her punctuation is all important.

I would like to see Davies adapt a Henry James novel next – this fine film is almost that.