Veteran British filmmaker Terence Davies returned to the peak of perfection with his brilliant chamber piece, A Quiet Passion. This is an absorbing, meticulously crafted chamber piece, centring on the celebrated 19th-century American poet, Emily Dickinson which takes her from the time she left Ladies College at the age of 17 to her death at 55 from agonising kidney failure.
Dickinson was a nonconformist, whether as poet, daughter, or women of faith, she finds herself at odds with the diktats of religion and society, becoming increasingly reclusive, dressing in white, writing her extraordinary original poetry but not publishing it, instead sewing together her own tiny little manuscript books or ‘fascicles’.
Cynthia Nixon is superb as the adult Dickinson, skillfully revealing the many facets of her character – her wit and linguistic command, an inescapable melancholy, and her poetry’s transcendent ability to connect with other people in ways she cannot. A film whose sensitivity, insight and eloquence resonate in the mind.
A Quiet Passion, released 8 October 2016 in selected cinemas nationwide.
Images: Johan Voets