Afterwords: A Quiet Passion

Afterwords is Ragtag’s new discussion series where we invite special guests to help us better understand a new movie. Our first will be held Tuesday, May 23 after the 6:15pm screening of A Quiet Passion. Noted Dickinson scholar Alexandra Socarides will facilitate.

Cynthia Nixon delivers a revelatory performance as the great poet Emily Dickinson in this spellbinding new film from Terence Davies (The Long Day Closes). A Quiet Passion carefully recreates 19th-century Massachusetts — its aesthetics, its politics, its social conventions — and then boldly explores how Dickinson existed in and responded to that place. In doing so, this engrossing, moving and unorthodox film illuminates her genius.

"An absolute drop-dead masterwork. What's surprising, even astonishing, about A Quiet Passion is that, first of all, it's funny. Davies turns the story into a laceratingly epigrammatic comical satire on New England's narrow mores — until the movie turns into an ink-black physical and moral and spiritual tragedy... While the entire cast moves and speaks with a sense of inner purpose, Nixon's performance is special. Her incarnation of Dickinson seems to rise outward from the bone." (Richard Brody, The New Yorker)