Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman's life dramatically changes for better and worse.
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a long-married, dispassionate couple who are both in the midst of serious affairs. But on the brink of calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance.
A young Englishman plots revenge against his late cousin's mysterious, beautiful wife, believing her responsible for his death. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.
Somerset, October 2014. When Clover Catto (Ellie Kendrick) receives a call telling her that her younger brother Harry (Joe Blakemore) is dead, she must return to her family farm and face ... See full summary »
Hope Dickson Leach
Terence Davies first read poems when he was 18 years old and he could not totally understand them then, only sense their meaning. See more »
Emily says she writes at 3a.m. until 5 a.m., yet she is sometimes seen writing at her desk in what appears to be broad daylight. Though she writes a lot, no ink stains her fingers or her sleeves. See more »
Emily Dickinson lived her entire life (1830-1886) in Amherst, Massachusetts, rarely leaving the town and, in middle age, not even leaving the family home. She never married and, in this biopic, only once falls seriously in love with a married vicar who almost certainly did not know of her "quiet passion". A young man who courts her later in the movie has to talk to her unseen at the top of the stairs.
Dickinson's life lacks the stuff that might make a substantial movie. Cynthia Nixon does a valiant job of giving her substance in conversations and arguments with her sister (Jennifer Ehle), her father (Keith Carradine, looking like a Mount Rushmore effigy) and visitors and relatives but what little drama there is here comes from illness and death scenes, of which there are many, long drawn out. The overdone manners of the era are parodied in drawing-room scenes borrowed from Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde, scenes that are pleasingly comic but seem more than a little contrived. Nixon reads some of the verse in voice-over but the early efforts, celebrating Nature, are not in Walt Whitman's league and only the later poems anticipating (almost inviting) Death have any real resonance. It is for these that Emily Dickinson is mostly remembered.
The cinematography is splendid, and the costumes and the over- furnished sets convey a stifling sense of the period. A moment in which portraits of the younger Dickinsons morph into their older selves is exquisite and there's another nice one at the end. The script and the direction struggle to make a mountain out of the molehill that was Emily's life. I was constantly thinking how much more 'oomph' there is in an Austen or a Brontë adaptation.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?