6.5/10
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60 user 131 critic

A Quiet Passion (2016)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 7 April 2017 (UK)
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The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

Director:

Terence Davies

Writer:

Terence Davies
3 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emma Bell ... Young Emily
Sara Vertongen Sara Vertongen ... Miss Lyon (as Sara Louise Vertongen)
Rose Williams ... Young Vinnie
Benjamin Wainwright ... Young Austin
Keith Carradine ... Father
Marieke Bresseleers Marieke Bresseleers ... Jenny Lind
David Van Bouwel David Van Bouwel ... Concert Hall Pianist
Annette Badland ... Aunt Elizabeth
Steve Dan Mills Steve Dan Mills ... Dr. Holland
Joanna Bacon ... Mother
Daniel Vereenooghe Daniel Vereenooghe ... Carriage Driver
Michel Delanghe Michel Delanghe ... Carriage Driver Assistant
Maurice Cassiers Maurice Cassiers ... Photographer
Duncan Duff ... Austin Dickinson
Jennifer Ehle ... Vinnie Dickinson
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Storyline

The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images and brief suggestive material | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

UK | Belgium | USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Historia de una pasión See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€6,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,825, 14 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,864,266, 7 July 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cynthia Nixon has detected similarities in the personality of Emily Dickinson with hers: In having big feelings, in wanting to connect with other people but not for example party with them, and in desiring to receive attention but kind of having a reluctance of the certain things one does that make it happen. See more »

Goofs

The Bahn Frei polka played in the dance scene had not been written at the time. See more »

Quotes

Emily Dickinson: This is my letter to the world that never wrote to me.
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Soundtracks

Ah! Non Credea Mirarti
[From "La sonnambula"]
Written by Vincenzo Bellini
Performed by Marieke Bresseleers and Luc De Vos (as Luke Devos)
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User Reviews

 
A Perfect Title
27 January 2018 | by proud_ludditeSee all my reviews

He life and poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) is the subject of this biopic, portraying an early feminist who lived life on her own terms within limited situations while facing sadness and despair in her later years. Dickinson was from a prominent family (her father was a lawyer) and lived in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Writer/director Terence Davies deserves so much credit for this fine film. The first half is blessed with sharp and witty dialogue using language and repartee in a style that is rarely used in today's America. Similarly, Davies' directing style is as poetic as Dickinson's writings which are frequently recited in the background. Even when poetry is not recited, there is a poetic mood that stays throughout the film especially in the second half when the lightness of the early years have passed.

For the most part, the acting is good especially Cynthia Nixon as the adult version of Dickinson. Nixon is especially strong in the later years of despair and illness. But there are moments the actors seem ill at ease with a language that no longer exists in contemporary America. Catherine Bailey portrays a very sharp-witted, independent-minded friend of Emily and her sister. While Bailey is good in the role, some extra pizzazz could have made her a scene-stealer.

The second half is quite serious at it deals with illness, dying, and the despair of living a life that is perceived as only partly lived. One particularly moving scene involved Emily brushing off the kind attention of a sincere, handsome suitor. By the end of this scene, it was easy to feel empathy and sadness for everyone involved.

"A Quiet Passion" was like the experience of visiting a historical home that is open to the public where ropes separate visitors from the rooms. But in this case, the ropes are temporarily removed and we are allowed in as long as we keep a respectful distance. With a fine cast as well as superb lighting, costumes, and set designs, Davies does a great job in recreating a time and place long gone. Viewing this film is a very soulful experience.


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