If you're worried you'll sleep your way through Terence Davies's new Emily Dickinson biopic, A Quiet Passion, don't be. There's something for everyone in this lyrical little gem. Period-piece diehards will delight in the endless parade of lacy collars, flounces, and parasols. Looking for a different kind of shade? The dialogue is loaded with crackling Victorian burns. And for anyone else, there's Cynthia Nixon, whose deft portrayal of the Belle of--Amherst illuminates the inner struggles of one of the most celebrated literary geniuses of all time. Most of the film was shot in a replica of the Dickinson family home in Massachusetts, where the reclusive poet spent most of her days, but it hardly feels small. Nixon's childlike, often abrasive performance brings Dickinson's steadfast beliefs on truth, fame, and morality to life--and offers a strong rebuttal to one of her most self-effacing lines: "A posthumous reputation is only for those who, when living, weren't worth remembering."
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