Quiet Passion: Terence Davies on American Poet Emily Dickinson, Starring Cynthia Nixon

After Sunset Song, Terence Davies turned to 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson, starring Cynthia Nixon as the celebrated poet.

This rigorously exquisite feature captures all the facets of the legendary and complex writer, including the intimate relationship with her devoted sister (played by Jennifer Ehle).

Music Box Films will release the movie, which world premiered at the Toronto Film Fest, April 1, followed by national rollout.

Nixon delivers a triumphant performance as she personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of the poet whose genius only came to be recognized after her death.

Davies exquisitely evokes Dickinson’s deep attachment to her close-knit family along with the manners, mores and spiritual convictions of her time that she struggled with and transcended in her poetry.

Davies’s witty sense of humor and his vision of life’s grim realities are on full display in this depiction of a creative inner world.

In addition to his two acclaimed semi-autobiographical features Distant Voices, Still Lives and The Long Day Closes, Davies’ films include the gorgeous literary adaptations The House of Mirth, The Neon Bible, The Deep Blue Sea, Sunset Song, as well as Of Time and the City, his masterful exploration of his native city, Liverpool.

 A Quiet Passion reunites Davies with his Deep Blue Sea cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister to create a luminous rendering of the poet’s universe, both interior and exterior.

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. Not publicly recognized during her lifetime, her first volume of works was published posthumously in 1890 after her family discovered forty hardbound volumes containing nearly 1,800 poems.  

The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City is presenting the exhibition, “I’m Nobody!  Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson” through May 21, 2017, featuring nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters in the poet’s hand.