A Quiet Passion (2016) is a English movie. Terence Davies has directed this movie. Emma Bell,Sara Vertongen,Rose Williams,Benjamin Wainwright are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2016. A Quiet Passion (2016) is considered one of the best Biography,Drama movie in India and around the world.
The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.
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The great American poet Emily Dickinson wrote: "Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality." Whether or not Dickinson stopped for life, it kindly stopped for her and her immortality is enshrined in the legacy of the 1800 exquisite poems she left, only ten of which were published during her lifetime. She did not leave any commentaries to interpret her work, but left them for us to understand and explain. One interpretation of her life and work is provided by Terence Davies in his film A Quiet Passion, a sympathetic but overwritten and curiously wooden look at her life and the influences that shaped her art. Starring Cynthia Nixon ("The Adderall Diaries") as Emily, Davies traces Dickinson's life in a standard linear format. Raised in the Puritan New England city of Amherst, Massachusetts (the film is shot near Antwerp, Belgium) the poet was lonely and secretive throughout her life, seldom left home, and visitors were few. She stayed with her family all of her life, living through births, marriages, and deaths but always setting aside the early morning hours in her study to compose. Bright and outgoing as a young woman, Emily is portrayed as becoming more isolated, and bitter as she grows older. Her only companions were her austere and unforgiving father, Edward (Keith Carradine, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"), a one-term Congressman, her haughty brother, Austin (Duncan Duff, "Island"), who became an attorney and lived next door with his wife Susan Gilbert (Johdi May, "Ginger and Rosa"), and her younger sister, Lavinia (Jennifer Ehle, "Little Men") who was her greatest solace. As the film opens, Emily is tagged as an outsider almost immediately. As a young student (Emma Bell, "See You in Valhalla") at the Mount Holyoke women's seminary, she stands up to the governess by declaring that she does not want either to be saved by divine Providence or forgotten by it and also speaks out for feminism, women's rights and abolitionism. Her willingness to challenge conventional thinking by dismissing Longfellow's poem "The Song of Hiawatha" as "gruel," and her support for the poorly-regarded Bronte sisters was not appreciated by her family. "If they wanted to be wholesome," she retorted, "I imagine they would crochet." As Davies cleverly morphs the faces of Emily and her well-to-do family from children into adults, a clearer picture emerges of her relationship with her strict father and reserved mother (Joanna Bacon, "Love Actually"). Her only refuge from family conflicts and disappointments was her intimate relationship with Vinnie, the companionship of her best friend Vryling Buffam (Catherine Bailey, "The Grind"), and the sermons of Reverend Wadsworth (Eric Loren, "Red Lights"). Irreverent and provocative, Emily, Vinnie, and Vryling are shown walking through the gardens, exchanging witty aphorisms while they twirl their parasols, but the element of artifice is overbearing. We do not see Emily in the process of composition but listen to her poems read aloud in voice-over. They are the highlight of the film, but there are not enough of them and too much time is spent on Emily's sad physical deterioration as she confronts the debilitating Bright's disease. In this regard, there is no subtlety in the film's presentation as the camera unnecessarily lingers over Emily's shaking fits for an inordinate length of time and her last days are an endurance test for the audience. In spite of the family's strong religious approach to life, there is no reflection about her life and legacy or talk about life's meaning and purpose. Though Emily Dickinson's poetry glimmers with a spiritual glow, the uniqueness of who she is does not fully come across. For all of its fine performances and moments of comic satire, A Quiet Passion is dramatically inert, and its stilted and mannered dialogue is an emotional straitjacket with each character talking to the other as if they were reading a book of aphorisms. Terence Davies has directed some memorable period films in his career such as his remarkable adaptation of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth. A Quiet Passion, however, has neither quiet nor passion. Gratitude must be offered, however, to Davies for introducing the poems of Emily Dickinson to a wider audience. Thanks Terence and thanks Emily. "You left me, sweet, two legacies, A legacy of love A Heavenly Father would content, Had He the offer of; You left me boundaries of pain Capacious as the sea, Between eternity and time, Your consciousness and me"
Emily Dickinson isn't the easiest subject for a feature-length biopic. True, she is the greatest female poet in the English language, maybe even in world literature. But her life was uneventful in the extreme. She never married and probably died a virgin. Her love affairs were conducted by correspondence. She became reclusive as she got older, donning a white dress, rarely leaving home, and holding conversations through doorways. She wrote poetry—a kind of literature appealing only to a tiny minority of readers and not amenable to film adaptation. Moreover, with a few exceptions, her poems are difficult: she specialized in extreme mental states and thorny intellectual paradoxes. And she died in complete obscurity—it's only by good fortune that the 1800 poems she wrote still exist. At her death the vast majority of them existed only in a single handwritten manuscript and could easily have been consigned to flame as the ramblings of an eccentric spinster. So Dickinson's biography hardly conforms to the typical story arc or dramatic requirements of the average American film. Until now, the most successful dramatization of the life of this poet who lived an interior existence, both literally and figuratively, was the one-woman play The Belle of Amherst, which needless to say emphasized her isolation. Terence Davies's film knows and accepts all this, yet remembers that Dickinson in her own time was not a great poet, except perhaps only in the farthest reaches of her own imagination. Instead of a lonely genius, Davies conjures up a Dickinson who was very much a social being, even if her interactions were largely restricted to her family. Cynthia Nixon's Emily is a flawed, totally plausible, and deeply sympathetic woman of her time. This is a brilliant film in the way it exploits the resources of the medium. The performances are universally excellent, and the dialogue is as witty as it must have been among clever Emily and her circle. Davies captures the claustrophobic interiors and repressed souls of still- Puritan mid-19th-century small-town Amherst, Massachusetts. The editing and pacing are superb, as for example in a slow 360 degree pan around the Dickinson sitting room that begins and ends on Emily's face. But it's also brilliant in the way that it interprets Dickinson's life. How did the Civil War impact her Amherst domesticity? Why did she wear a white dress? What did she feel when her brother Austin, who lived with his wife Susan next door, started conducting an adulterous affair in her own living room? How did she feel to be dying slowly and horribly of kidney disease knowing that her poetry (her "Letter to the World" as she put it) was almost totally unread? Did the hope that she'd be appreciated by posterity reconcile her to her fate? Nixon's Emily behaves in each case as a human being would, making her predicament painful to watch. But it's strangely exhilarating too—we watch knowing that Dickinson's "Letter" has most definitely been delivered. The film is slow-paced and developed as a series of vignettes. There's quite a lot of poetry in voice-over. At no point does it pander to 21st- century sensibilities. It will not be to the taste of the majority of the cinema-going public. Nor will many Dickinson cultists enjoy it, as they often prefer to idealize or mythologize her rather than think of her as a flesh-and-blood woman. But as a plausible biography of one of America's greatest poets, this film is nothing short of a triumph.
The only positive comment I can make after wasting over two hours watching this sorry mess of a film is that Cynthia Nixon does a creditable job of acting in spite of a lame and mordant script. Most of the rest of the cast for the most part sounds as if they were doing an initial read-through. The direction is stagy and there is an excess of glacially slow pans around candle-lit interiors that contribute nothing to the story line, such that it is. The story told is highly inaccurate. It characterizes Dickinson as a reclusive, shrewish, depressive, neurotically cruel bitch. ED actually had some close and possibly even romantic relationships both in her youth and in middle age -- you would not know that from this selective script. The script also fails to convey her love of Nature and her quiet joy in life, even when she cloistered herself. In fact she was more widely known for her expertise in gardening than her poetry while she lived, but she is barely shown outside her rooms throughout the movie. There are many imagined unpleasant confrontations and bitter exchanges between characters in the film that have no apparent basis in reality. It's more a contrived soap opera in period dress than bio-pic; "Desperate Housewives of Amherst" might have been a more accurate title. As to direct contradictions to the truth: Dickinson's sister in law was an acquaintance known to her years before she married into the family -- the film shows her as a stranger being introduced to the family after the marriage. Dickinson also NEVER met her brother's mistress, Mabel Todd, let alone caught them in flagrante delicto, as shown in the film. In fact, Todd respected ED's work and was one of the people who made sure that Dickinson's poems were posthumously published. ED was also not emotionally close to her distant mother, though the film turns their relationship into a sappy cliché. In a final blow to ED's memory, the film shows her coffin being hauled to the cemetery in a horse drawn hearse. In fact, per her wishes, her loved ones placed her favorite flowers in the casket with her and then carried it by hand through fields of buttercups to the family plot. This film left myself and my companion (a published poet who teaches writing at University level) feeling drained, depressed and disappointed. There were so many aspects of ED's personality and incidents in her life that could have enriched and enlivened this film -- perhaps they were left on the cutting room floor? Honestly, if you have not read Emily Dickinson's poetry before seeing this mordant flick, you are not going to be inspired to do so afterwards.
You'd expect this kind of witty dialogue in a Woody Allen film about condescending New York intellectuals. But 'A Quiet Passion', about 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, is also full of it. Clearly, she used her talent not only to write poetry, but also to engage in spirited conversation. British director Terence Davies shows Dickinson as a person who refused to stick to the strict rules of life in the Victorian era. She had a mind of her own, and was not afraid to speak out. At the same time, she seemed to have trouble finding happiness. The most tragic element of her life was that her poetry was hardly appreciated. Only a few poems were published in the local paper. All this is subtly shown in the biopic, which follows Dickinson from her childhood to her death. The poems are read by a voice-over, which is not the easiest way to appreciate poetry. But at the same time, the poems are a necessary element to understand Dickinson as she was. Cynthia Nixon gives a good, restrained performance. It's nice to see her in a role that's the complete opposite from the career lawyer Miranda in 'Sex and the City'. Director Davies doesn't speed things up. The film is a calm and quiet affair, which is good because Dickinson's life itself was calm and quiet. Some scenes are beautiful just because they are unhurried: in one scene, the camera moves extremely slowly around Dickinson's living room, lingering on walls and doors as well as on the people present. If you are acquainted with Emily Dickinson's work, this film gives an interesting insight into her life and her poetry. If you're not, this film is a great introduction to it.
I dragged myself to see a film about someone I knew nothing about - except from a line in a Simon and Garfunkel song - and the odd mention from friends years ago - assuming it could easily be a scriptwriters fantasy world - but at least a costume drama outlining the person, her surroundings and time. It was in fact very moving - drawing you into a the completely unknown mind of this women and the people around her - no one left the cinema immediately but just stayed and stared - were they as upset as I was ? It was all the more interesting coming one day after a very interesting documentary of the journey of the Mayflower migrants from 1608 when they fled to Holland for a new life and then to a ship in 1620 to cross the Atlantic so their children would still be English and not Dutch puritans - the documentary forces you to step into the minds and motives of these people, who should have perished but managed to survive due to a powerful faith - which appears just nonsense to me - but it does come from the times - the evolution of human consciousness. Emily Dickinson is there 200 years after - still in a fossilized society - soon to be taken over by Irish Catholicism in Boston - in a style reminiscent of a theater play of the day - at first too witty and full of riposte, but which slowly takes hold of you. The actors are all good, but the driving force is the question of what it was like to be a woman in this time - what did they actually think and do - why did Emily and her sister not marry but stay at home - was the world outside, and the society of men, so cold, foreign and formal that they stayed where they were sure there was warmth. A good film if you want to realize you don't really understand how other people see the world - and to be moved by the fact they simply exist and feel, and are then snuffed out like a candle flame.