A Quiet Passion: Emily Dickinson Revealed

DATELINE: Dickinson in Amherst

Nixon with Jennifer Ehle

So seldom do we find a movie made out of the epheremal that we want to celebrate. A life of Emily Dickinson is bound to be considered still-born by many modern types.

Cynthia Nixon stars as Miss Dickinson, a reclusive poet whose internal life was as intense as it was empty.

A strong individual, she eschewed church and social niceities for the grandness of her poetry, which was disparaged and ignored during her lifetime.

In an age of movies for noisy and thoughtless audiences, this film will test the true mettle of those with interior lives. It is magnificent in wit, genteel details, and brilliantly directed by Terence Davies who also wrote the script.

This contributes to a singular vision.

Just the bravura scene where they age before a photographer, morphing Emily from Emma Bell to Cynthia Nixon is stunning.

This is a film of nuance, and the actors have the opportunity to show how the lives of the Dickinson family and friends were inspiration enough to make Emily a great poet, unknown to those who lived with her. She considered her life “minor.”

Standouts among the cast certainly must acknowledge Keith Carradine as Emily’s stern, but supportive father—though their differences and debates on God and church are touched by wit and deeper insight.

One might compare this film to the classic great films of Ivory-Merchant so many decades ago. And, those were made for a miniscule audience of literate film lovers. How few of us are left today?

Let’s just feel some joy that a magnificent movie has been given to us: it’s a great gift to enjoy privately. It provides a chance to avoid computerized cartoons based on that weird genre of the “graphic novel” that dominates movie production in the 21st century.

A warning to sunshine poetry lovers, Emily led a most unhappy life–and the film does not flinch from that fact.

 

Advertisements

Eagle-Eyed Patriots To Avoid Bird Droppings

 

DATELINE: Bye Bye Birdie

 

Already we want to forget the Eagles. Don’t ask us to overlook them too. Birds of prey in need of prayers are always dangerous. Not since Mel Brooks was hit by the birds with scatological targeted antics will we see such a bird mess of a game.

Your standard city of brotherly lovers with the Philadelphia Eagles and their controversial Chip off the Old Block Head coach will next take a swipe at Tom Brady.

We cannot tell which way the wind will blow on this game. The NFL has recently re-assigned their worst referee team to do the game. Watch out for funnel clouds and foggy calls. Whistle-gate is apt to have a part two during this game.

Chip is a chump, hardly a champ, and reportedly has lost control of his team (if ever he had control). Didn’t black players on the Eagles whisper he held white supremacist ideas? Now they quit on him in mid-games. If you believe that Chip is a great coach, you probably leave chewing gum on your bedpost.

Gronk likely won’t appear in this lamebrain zebra/ref extravaganza. So, the fixers will be hard pressed to call Offensive Pass Interference—unless it is on cable-TV reception. OPI is not Ron Howard’s old TV role.

Jamie Collins will apparently return from the dead, raised by Coach Belichick after a cure of Bubonic Plague was found in Foxboro. After Belichick casts out Jamie’s demons, you know intravenous fluids will bring Collins back up to snuff.

Danny Amendola may have said, “Amen,” after genuflecting to the God of Knee Sprains. Let’s hope he offered a novena for Gronk.

Dry cleaning bills on Brady’s white pants have increased sharply in recent weeks—and the offensive line had to pick up the tab after picking up the quarterback.