Sunday, February 14, 2016

Berlin Review: Emily Dickinson Biopic 'A Quiet Passion' Fails to Stir

Considering the enigma of Emily Dickinson’s life, her reclusiveness, her being largely unpublished while alive and the posthumous popularity of her work, the poet is an ideal subject for a film biography, something that might ignite an image of her in the audience’s imagination. Terence Davies, that most sensitive and, himself, poetic of artists, would seem an ideal person to accomplish that task. So the fact that “A Quiet Passion” doesn’t succeed, seeming to push Dickinson further into darkness — or more accurately, gloom — is greatly disappointing. Paradoxically, the reason may be that the director feels too much empathy for his subject, feels her pain too exquisitely. If this is...

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