A Quiet Passion

Posted on May 13, 2017


A Quiet Passion – Threats of hell and damnation can’t keep the young Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon) at the convent. Back home, she lives with her domineering father (Keith Carradine) and depressed mother (Joanna Bacon). There’s a veneer of sweetness and light, flowers and parasols, then out comes a screaming match. Emily and siblings (Jennifer Ehle and Duncan Duff) are all highly intelligent with sharp wits. Emily’s tongue could cut your coke quicker and cleaner than any razor blade. Some of the retorts are brilliant.

She and best friend (Catherine Bailey) are very modern girls “Let’s not be anything today but superficial”. Though she considers herself the equal to any man, she feels she’s not pretty enough to find one of her own, but she was quite forward (for that time period) with at least one married man.

At times the whole family seems a bit mad. Emily overdramatizes most everything and she’s highly judgmental. Possibly she’s jealous and bitter because her work didn’t get the credit she felt it deserved mainly because of her gender. In addition to suffering from Bright’s Disease, I’m thinking there was some bi-polarism going on.