A Quiet Passion - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Quiet Passion Reviews

May 18, 2017
Nixon delivers a masterful performance, giving us a heroine who can't cease digging herself into ever deeper holes. She's never out of step with the film's graceful pace and narrative development.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 11, 2017
This is a film of subtle beauty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 11, 2017
It's not easy to do justice to such a beloved, enigmatic artist, but "A Quiet Passion" was well worth the wait.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 5, 2017
The rich imagery and controlled composition seem alternately to highlight Dickinson's unfettered art and to mock her sadly fettered life.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
May 4, 2017
Stick with it, and keep your eyes on Nixon; a still, gentle-voiced presence whose eyes glow like blue embers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 4, 2017
A delicate and measured drama that plumbs the depths of the poet's strange heart and the agony of her intelligence.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
April 28, 2017
Davies specializes in period pieces and here he captures Dickinson's miserable isolation and terrible intelligence perfectly.
Full Review | Original Score: A
April 21, 2017
I appreciate [Davie's] desire to counteract the usual romantic cinematic clichés of divinely inspired tortured souls, but he's overcorrected and created an anti-cliché: the harridan as heroine.
Full Review | Original Score: C
April 21, 2017
A brilliant chronicling of a life lived quietly, one that is sweeping in its emotional depth rather than its narrative scope.
April 20, 2017
It is through Nixon's brilliant performance that "A Quiet Passion" illuminates, complicates and ultimately transcends the mystery of its subject's confinement.
April 17, 2017
A Quiet Passion is wittier, in its early stretches, than anyone might have foreseen, but it's when the door closes, and the Dickinsons are alone with their trepidations, that the movie draws near to its rightful severity.
April 14, 2017
Nixon vividly telegraphs both her character's convictions and her deep physical and emotional suffering.
Full Review | Original Score: B
April 14, 2017
It is grounded, and made most exemplary, by Cynthia Nixon's performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
April 14, 2017
In a series of portrait episodes, Davies treads Dickinson's biographical terrain without presuming to editorialize; instead, Dickinson's poetry speaks for itself in voiceover.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
April 13, 2017
Filmmaker and subject are a match made in heaven that, cohabiting in Davies' delirious head, gives histrionic a good name.
April 13, 2017
Cynthia Nixon is superlative in her portrayal of a woman who lived a privileged but increasingly cloistered life as she struggled with personal faith and physical illness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
April 13, 2017
Mr. Davies, whose work often blends public history and private memory, possesses a poetic sensibility perfectly suited to his subject and a deep, idiosyncratic intuition about what might have made her tick.
April 13, 2017
"A Quiet Passion" is the work of a master craftsman whose interest has always been the ways outer reality frames and shapes our inner landscapes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
April 13, 2017
What's surprising about A Quiet Passion, given the writer-director's own incurable melancholy, is how lively, how flat-out funny, it frequently is.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
April 12, 2017
Cynthia Nixon is simply magnificent as Emily Dickinson in director Terence Davies' gentle yet subversively fierce and funny look at the life and art of the great American poet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 12, 2017
While the visuals and steady shots are often relaxing, at the heart is a searing and soulful performance of an anguished artist born into the wrong time.
April 12, 2017
Some filmmakers direct in prose - strong declarations, decisive actions, emphatic characters. Terence Davies directs in poetry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
April 11, 2017
To be fair, even Nixon and Jennifer Ehle sometimes have trouble with Davies's ornate dialogue. But Nixon is so determined to get to the heart of this great poet that she does eventually reach it toward the end.
April 11, 2017
Davies honors his subject by remaining true to this observation from the poet herself: "To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations."
April 11, 2017
The final scenes are potent enough to save the movie.
April 3, 2017
It's rare to see a film that makes such subtle sense of an artist's life and mind.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
December 30, 2016
Davies, the most interiorized of English filmmakers, shows his devotion through his fidelity to text, trying portray as much as he can of the poet's sad but notoriously uneventful life.
Full Review | Original Score: B
October 5, 2016
I'm thrilled to say that it's an absolute drop-dead masterwork.
Top Critic
February 15, 2016
What sets the film drastically off-balance is its contrastingly finicky impulse to paint Dickinson as one of the rapier wits of her generation.
February 15, 2016
The film can't escape an underlying static quality that extinguishes the flame before it can get burning.