A Quiet Passion

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A Quiet Passion
A Quiet Passion.png
UK theatrical release poster
Directed byTerence Davies
Written byTerence Davies
Produced by
CinematographyFlorian Hoffmeister
Edited byPia Di Ciaula
  • Hurricane Films
  • Gibson & MacLeod Indomitable Entertainment
  • WeatherVane Productions
  • Potemkino
Distributed bySoda Pictures
Release dates
  • 14 February 2016 (2016-02-14) (Berlin)
  • 7 April 2017 (2017-04-07) (United Kingdom)
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$7.3 million[1]
Box office$4.1 million[2][3]

A Quiet Passion is a 2016 British biographical film written and directed by Terence Davies about the life of American poet Emily Dickinson. The film stars Cynthia Nixon as the reclusive poet. It co-stars Emma Bell as young Dickinson, Jennifer Ehle, Duncan Duff, and Keith Carradine. The film premiered at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016 and was released in the United Kingdom on 7 April 2017.



On 10 September 2012, it was announced that Cynthia Nixon was set to play Emily Dickinson in a biopic directed by Terence Davies.[4] In May 2015, after a long time in development hell, A Quiet Passion finally began production in Belgium.[5] The film was shot at AED Studios in a replica of Dickinson's house.[6] Additional scenes were also filmed in Amherst and Pelham, Massachusetts.[7] Jennifer Ehle was cast in a key supporting role opposite Nixon.[8][9]


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 91%, based on 152 reviews, and an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "A Quiet Passion offers a finely detailed portrait of a life whose placid passage may not have been inherently cinematic, but is made more affecting by Cynthia Nixon's strong performance."[10] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

The film was highly praised by the British newspapers The Guardian and The Independent, which described the film as a 'Masterpiece of Mood'. Richard Brody of The New Yorker called it a "masterwork" and stated that the film would "take its place as one of [Davies'] finest creations".[12] Had the film been given a limited release in the United States before 2017, Brody would have placed it first in his list of best films of 2016.[13] Internationally, The New York Times stated: "This Emily Dickinson biopic possesses a poetic sensibility perfectly suited to its subject and a deep, idiosyncratic intuition about what might have made her tick." The Washington Post wrote: "Davies is a master of the slow build, lyrically evoking both the dreaminess and gravity of his subject and her verse".


  1. ^ Campbell, Christopher (11 December 2017). "The Disaster Artist' and 'I, Tonya' make their mark in an otherwise poor year for biographical movies". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. ^ "A Quiet Passion (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  3. ^ "A Quiet Passion (2016)". The Numbers. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  4. ^ Scott Roxborough. "Toronto 2012: Cynthia Nixon to Play Poet Emily Dickinson (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  5. ^ Ryan Lattanzio (5 May 2015). "Terence Davies' Long-Awaited Emily Dickinson Biopic Is Re - Thompson on Hollywood". Thompson on Hollywood. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  6. ^ Lederman, Diane (12 June 2015). "Filming of Emily Dickinson story 'The Quiet Passion' brings attention to poet, Amherst". MassLive.com. Advance Publications. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  7. ^ Merzbach, Scott (10 June 2015). "Filming planned in Amherst, Pelham for Emily Dickinson biopic 'A Quiet Passion' starring Cynthia Nixon, Keith Carradine". Daily Hampshire Gazette. Newspapers of New England. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  8. ^ Dave McNary. "'A Quiet Passion': Jennifer Ehle Joins Emily Dickinson Biopic - Variety". Variety. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  9. ^ Ben Beaumont-Thomas. "Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle set for Terence Davies' Emily Dickinson biopic". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  10. ^ "A Quiet Passion (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  11. ^ "A Quiet Passion Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  12. ^ "A Masterly Emily Dickinson Movie". The New Yorker. 22 February 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  13. ^ Brody, Richard (9 December 2016). "The Best Movies of 2016". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved 22 December 2016.

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