A Quiet Passion
Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff, Keith Carradine, Jodhi May, Joanna Bacon & Annette Badland
Director: Terence Davies
Running Time: 125 minutes
Certificate: 12A - contains upsetting scenes of illness
Country: UK / USA
"With its sweeping camera work and shots of the defiant womenfolk twirling their parasols and snapping their fans, A Quiet Passion is an exceptional film; a masterpiece of mood with a searing central performance from Cynthia Nixon"
- Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent
"A delicate and thoughtful film; small in scale but brimming with the quiet passion of the title. It’s rare to see a film that makes such subtle sense of an artist’s life and mind"
- Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Every shot in Terence Davies’ Emily Dickinson biopic is beautifully composed and lit, and the actors deliver every line with absolute conviction. It must be said that Cynthia Nixon does a brilliant job, and Davies’ self-written script gives her the tools"
- Andrew Pulver, The Guardian
"Nixon is superb as Emily Dickinson, the 19th-century poet who took American verse into the modern age. This is a film not about appearances but interior life, and few have examined their souls as closely as Dickinson"
- Kate Muir, The Times
"’You have a life, I have a routine’ says Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) in Terence Davies’ biopic of the reclusive poet. Nixon captures the frustration of a woman out of her time, raging against religion, sexism and war, imbuing Dickinson with a wry sense of her own fate"
- Josh Winning, Total Film
"Both Nixon and Emma Bell (as the young Emily) are ferociously sympathetic, and the moment where one morphs into the other is both technically and emotionally astounding"
- Charlotte O’Sullivan, Evening Standard
"This is a moving and engrossing film with a wonderful performance from Cynthia Nixon, who combines delicacy with angularity; vulnerability and defiance"
- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"The first half plays like a colourful screwball comedy and mostly sees Dickinson bantering with new friend Vryling. Sisterly tension then becomes the film’s main preoccupation and its most precise profundity"
- Simran Hans, The Observer
"Terence Davies excels in stories where passion, emotion and imagination roil or anguish interiorly, like an antic baby in the womb. Two sequences in the movie are transcendent. It’s as if the film is groping, abstractly yet expressively, for the suffering, crying, visionary spirit immured in its fabric"
- Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Cynthia Nixon gives an astonishing performance as Emily Dickinson. As Dickinson’s world is small, Terence Davies makes sure that we occupy it fully alongside her. The detailed intimacy with which the home interiors are rendered makes the set feel almost theatrical"
- Sophie Monks Kaufman, Little White Lies
The story of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson is brought to vivid life, in a remarkably sensitive biopic by director Terence Davies, exploring her early days as a young schoolgirl, through to her later years as a recluse. Now recognised as a genius that penned some of the most important verses in American literature, the poet was virtually unknown in her lifetime, leaving behind a legacy of stunning, astute work that still resonates deeply today.
Featuring a curated selection of her poems in voiceover, A Quiet Passion details every facet of Dickinson’s character: her wit, her humour and the intimate, close-knit relationship she had with her family. Cynthia Nixon commands a superb performance in the title role, while Davies’ elegant direction allows the audience to connect with the hopes, dreams and disappointments of one of the greatest poets of all time.