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Friday
May192017

A Quiet Passion (2017)

I clearly didn’t pay enough attention in school. To me, Emily Dickinson was just a sickly, sad poet who lived a long time ago. Writer/director Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion bridges the gap between Dickinson’s lone, lonely photograph and the well-traveled spirit who wrote “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. This multi-layered look at the author’s self-imposed familial confinement, in which she endures the rigors of societal and religious oppression as embodied by those she holds most dear, is a hymn to the gods of pure artistic righteousness. Cynthia Nixon’s brilliant lead performance manifests such humor, grace, and cutting wit that I often forgot I was watching a tragedy. For anyone worried that this might be a visually static period piece, Davies’ aesthetics are as rich as his narrative. There’s enough life, light, and scrumptious symbolism here to make even the most distracted kid in third-period American Lit take notice.

Listen to Kicking the Seat Podcast #224 to hear Ian's conversation with writer/director Terence Davies!

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