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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.


Terence Davies


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





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


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


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


UK | Belgium | USA



Release Date:

7 April 2017 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Historia de una pasión See more »


Box Office


€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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Terence Davies admitted to Cynthia Nixon before filming that he was not only not a fan of her famous show Sex and the City (1998), he found it "pernicious." He did admit that he watched an episode with the sound off and found her reactions the truest. According to him, Nixon was very civilized about his honesty. See more »


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


Emily Dickinson: If I can't have equality, then I want nothing of love.
See more »


I'm Alone
Written by Eric Idle & John Du Prez
Published by Rutsongs Music (Administered by Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.) & Ocean Music Ltd.
Performed by Helen Krizos
See more »

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User Reviews

Arguably Davies' finest film
1 March 2017 | by Martin BradleySee all my reviews

After the disappointment of of "Sunset Song" Terence Davies has made a storming comeback with "A Quiet Passion", though it is quietude rather than 'storming' that is most applicable. Expect nothing more or less from Davies than more of the same, of course. Davies makes slow films and "A Quiet Passion" is no different from anything else he has given us nor would we want it to be. This time his subject is the poet Emily Dickinson and this is easily one of the greatest of all period films.

Davies sketches Dickinson's life in a series of brush strokes from rebellious youth to painful death in early middle-age through a series of short, sharp conversation scenes, mostly with members of her own family together with readings from her poetry and the detail he packs into these scenes is extraordinary. He is helped in this by his brilliant cast. What we have here is an ensemble performance of the highest order; from the supporting cast it's almost impossible to single anyone out though I doubt if either Keith Carradine or Jennifer Ehle have ever been better while Cynthia Nixon is quite magnificent as Dickinson.

Nothing she has done in the past quite prepares you for this; it's an indelible performance as fine, indeed, as Gillian Anderson's in "The House of Mirth" but then Davies has always been a great director of women, going all the way back to "Distant Voices, Still Lives". Perhaps this has something to do with his sexuality, perhaps not; perhaps his being a gay man has nothing to do with anything, though one only has to look to Cukor to see a connection.

He is also a remarkably fine writer with a perfect 'ear' for dialogue regardless of the period in which his films are set. Of course, "A Quiet Passion" won't light up the sky when it comes to the box-office. This is a film for aficionados but anyone willing to embrace its multitudinous charms will be amply rewarded. Personally, I think it's a masterpiece.

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