From SATC to period drama: Cynthia Nixon lands starring role in Emily Dickinson biopic

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray

“To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else.”

Emily Dickinson was, without a doubt, one of the most famous poets to ever live, yet she was also one of the most reclusive.

Now, at last, her story will be brought to life on the silver screen.

Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson in A Quiet Affair

Emily Dickinson was just 55 years old when she passed away

Cynthia Nixon (yes, Miranda from Sex And The City) stars as the renowned artist in the period drama, which follows Dickinson from her schoolgirl days in Amherst, Massachusetts, to her premature death in 1886.

Tragically, at the time of her passing, only seven of Dickinson’s hundreds of poems had been published.

Yet the film promises not to focus solely on the poet’s prolific writings; it also examines the close relationships she had with her friends and family, her notoriously reclusive lifestyle (towards the end of her life, Dickinson would only communicate with people from the other side of a closed door), her earning of the nickname ‘the Woman in White’, her fascination with love and morality, and her unwavering feminist beliefs.

Watch the trailer for yourself below:

The film may be steeped in tragedy (it’s no spoiler to say that it will have an unhappy ending), but it is also boasts a wildly funny script, countless heart-warming moments, and an empowering, inspiring message at its heart.

Jennifer Ehle, who starred as Elizabeth Bennet opposite Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy in the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice, stars alongside Nixon as Emily’s sister, Lavinia. Critics have already praised the two actresses for their outstanding on-set chemistry, insisting that they create a relationship which is both “palpable and endearing”.

Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle in A Quiet Passion

Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle's on-screen chemistry has been praised by critics

Keith Carradine also appears as Dickinson’s father, Duncan Duff as her brother, and Joanna Bacon as her mother.

Catherine Bailey, Jodhi May, Annette Badland, and Emma Bell also star.

The Terence Davies film will be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this autumn, and has – somewhat unsurprisingly - already generated much awards hype.

It is set to open in UK cinemas on 18 November 2016. 

Images: Hurricane Films' A Quiet Passion