A Quiet Passion

A Quiet Passion

DVD - 2017
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May 31, 2019

Yet another 90s Rotten Tomatoes film that will appeal to only a small audience. Cynthia Nixon totally nails Emily Dickinson; the problem is that Miss Emily's life is not something many of us would want to live, or even devote an evening to watching.

May 01, 2019

I stopped watching about halfway through due to wooden acting. The awkward insertion of Dickinson's quotes interrupted the actors' flow and felt forced. Will keep an eye out for a better adaptation of this important American poet and writer.

Apr 08, 2019

Great movie; great action!

Mar 15, 2019

...unless you're an Emily Dickson fan I think you'll be disappointed in this movie. It's very boring to someone who isn't a fan. If watching someone who is sick or dying is your thing then go ahead and watch it. We watched it, hoping for something more, but nothing else happened.

TristanTM Feb 24, 2019

Many good quotes in this one - will appeal to those aspiring to forge their own way despite onerous circumstances. Also a portrait of an idiosyncratic and inspirational woman. Resonant for artists of all types.

Jan 19, 2019

A story well worth watching and one you must listen carefully to to fully appreciate a female writer's perspective of that era.

Dec 16, 2018

Terrible acting and PC overkill.

Apr 25, 2018

"The Soul selects her own Society/Then-shuts the door-"
There are very few good films about writers, probably because writing is a solitary, introspective, and not very cinematic art. This film does presume some familiarity with Emily Dickinson, as well as with British director Terrence Davies, who has made exquisite, yet very slow films like "Distant Voice, Still Lives" and "The House of Mirth." Like those, this is beautifully made and a little slow. Yet I think it rewards the patient viewer. Cynthia Nixon is excellent as Dickinson and very unlike the stereotype of the dour, housebound spinster. The film focuses not just on her poetry but on her relationship with her family. Jennifer Ehle and Keith Carradine are equally good as her sister and father, respectively. Again, don't go into this expecting a roller coaster ride, but if you have any interest in Dickinson, this is a thoughtful and lovely film about her.

Apr 22, 2018

I guess I'm not intellectual and literary enough to "get" this movie. I don't have more than a casual interest in Emily Dickinson, but I was hoping to be informed and entertained. I mean, I guess I was technically informed, as I now know slightly more than I did before watching it... but entertainment was severely lacking, and I couldn't even finish the movie. Which is sad, as I've managed to finish a couple of truly awful Hallmark movies; Transformers; and I only fell asleep once (okay, maybe twice) during that Jason Bourne movie my friends wanted to see in theater.

Tl;dr This is a deeply depressing movie with little drama to recommend it, and I made it an hour in before I had to stop. If you're interested in female literary heroes, the one about the Bronte sisters is a lot better.

Apr 01, 2018

A beautiful movie with great acting. Sometimes the moments were stretched or actions overdone.

Feb 26, 2018

There are some good moments, but I can't recommend this movie. It is slow and plodding, and the last 1/4 is difficult to endure - Spoiler alert: long shots of Emily and her mother dying. The language is stilted in places and too modern in others. It was written and directed by a man, and I think the emphasis is not enough on the quality of her work.

Feb 09, 2018

I kept this film 5 extra days as I was unable to watch it earlier and just had to see it. What a waste of time & money and so sorry to those library patrons who were waiting.

Feb 01, 2018

I feel sorry for the reviewers whose attention spans weren't long enough to enjoy this very fine film. "A Quiet Passion" does not have the pacing of a phony Hollywood biopic--instead it dramatizes the ostensibly uneventful life of a writer in an impressionistic, artful way (the lighting would make Vermeer proud). The film's first half has a light, comedic feel; the second darkens as Dickinson turns into a recluse. Her religious struggles, increasing antisocial tendencies, close but conflicted relations with her family, and romantic longings (unforgettably dramatized through a faceless stranger in the shadows) are explored with the intelligence and visual poetry that have always distinguished Terence Davies's films. Dickinson's poems arise naturally out of the soundtrack, and are applied to the narrative in ingenious ways. Her poems initially had a limited audience of unconventional, adventurous and receptive people. The same applies to this film.

Jan 07, 2018

The film is about the life and time of poetess Emily Dickinson which starts out fairly well showing us her family and home life and then literally goes nowhere for the next two hours. There are aspects of the film that are alienating with the rigid and formal way of speaking by the actors along with the endless series of witticism that people trade through the whole film. Maybe the worst is the character of Dickinson herself who becomes so antisocial,shrill and offputting that you feel true sympathy for her sister who is wonderfully played by Jennifer Ehle. A very tough slog of movie to sit through that even the grace and charm of Ms Ehle cannot overcome.

Dec 13, 2017

The New Yorker magazine just named this film on the best movies of 2017 in their annual list.
They called it "an absolute drop--dead masterwork."

Dec 12, 2017

Absurdly dumb movie. The acting was terrible - it's just people staring intently at one another and trading witty quips. Awful directing too - I was surprised at how cheesy and amateur-ish it looked. Every time some interesting line was spoken, it was nearly strangled to death by overacting or terrible pacing or pointless cuts to the next scene. It was aaallllmost so bad it's funny, but too boring to be genuinely amusing.

Nov 20, 2017

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the best actress of the Sex in City sorority? Directed by veteran Terence Davies. Interesting to note that Brit directors can enter American psyches so much better than their U.S. counterparts. The first half was fun and witty then descended (ascended?) into Ingmar Bergman territory. For more, read the Guardian review. TD also made The Neon Bible (w. Gena Rowland) and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth.

Oct 30, 2017

There is not much good to say about this movie. It's boring, poorly written, and poorly directed. Hope Dickinson's life was not actually this bad, but we did not learn anything to speak of about that here.

Oct 23, 2017

I lasted just over 20 minutes in before turning it off. It seemed very pretentious with one character trying to say something wittier and pithier than the last. Ugh!

Oct 23, 2017

Warning! This film if for Terence Davies aficionados only. Christian Fundamentalists beware!The film, a somewhat fictional biography of American poet Emily Dickenson, is deeply depressing as it attempts to portray the life of a female genius in the time when American Christianity believed that white wealthy males should be dominant over all other groups of homo sapiens. And to add onto the white male dominance, Dickenson lived in an era in which medical science was helpless in relieving the severe pains of many chronic and often terminal illnesses. Davies combines the two facts in portraying the almost unbelievable severity of Dickenson's somewhat abbreviated life. It is not a Hollywood romanticized version of a difficult life.

Oct 16, 2017

So disappointing! I hoped for a genuine look at this poet's life and passions, but found instead a forced and boring agenda of mocking the Christian faith. The writing was stilted. The only people portrayed as intelligent, witty, or remotely kind were those who were against all things Christian, while anyone of faith at all were portrayed as dull, bully-ish, and with no mind of their own. Even with otherwise skilled actors, they could not pull off the terrible writing that was not so much about Emily Dickinson's life, but about the writers' personal prejudices toward anyone who embraces Christianity. If such a stereotyped and extreme caricature was made of any other religion or group of people, we would all be sickened. So why is it looked at as art when done against Christians?

Sep 21, 2017

Legendary director Terence Davies sinks to the level of Victorian weeper in this gushy-wushy biopic tracing the life of poet Emily Dickinson from headstrong Finishing School graduate to frail and embittered spinster to sunlit cadaver. All of Davies' cinematic tricks appear here as so much affectation—sunlight spews through every chink and windowpane; a fantasy lover ascends the stairs in agonizing slo-mo while the orchestra suffers a meltdown—and a hopelessly uneven cast emote with all the conviction of wooden marionettes. Lead Cynthia Nixon chirps out endless bon mots in between bouts of hysteria while everyone else takes a turn either crying or dying. Only Jennifer Ehle's portrayal of Dickinson's abiding sister carries any emotional punch but her performance just serves to highlight how awful everything else is. Avoid.

Sep 04, 2017

Terrence Davies is a weirdo, and this movie proves it. However, two stars for the house colors (pale butter yellow with those blue shutters!) and the flower garden. Also, can't help but appreciate that the costumes reflect accurate historical fashion changes. Otherwise, poetry-lovers will be hard pressed to find much enjoyment or interest from this movie. What non-poetry-lovers would be doing watching it in the first place, I can't guess. But who actually can guess what those people will do?

Sep 03, 2017

Really boring, doesn't capture the woman or the poet, poorly done. Acting is mediocre at best, the script dull and long.

Sep 02, 2017

Interesting period piece but very slow-moving.

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