A Quiet Passion (2017)
This bio-pic by director Terence Davies stars Cynthia Nixon as the famously reclusive poet Emily Dickinson (1830–1886), who lived much of her life in isolation in her Amherst family home. The movie begins with her family rescuing her from the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, which was a bad fit for her already independent spirit. She refused to go to church, for example, and bristled at the repressive gender roles demanded of women by the cringe worthy Christian moralism of the day. Later in life, she refused to greet guests, never left her bedroom, never married, and wore her trademark white clothing about which there has been so much speculation. This movie will have special appeal to those who enjoy period pieces — for example, Davies has his characters speak in the formal way of the period. The movie also incorporates readings of Dickinson's poems. Although Dickinson wrote some 1800 poems, less than a dozen of them were published during her lifetime, or were even known to exist until her sister discovered them after she died. For 1100 of Dickinson’s poems, see Cristanne Miller, editor, Emily Dickinson’s Poems as She Preserved Them (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016), 845pp.