Wild Nights with Emily

Critics Consensus

Silly yet deceptively smart, Wild Nights with Emily approaches its oft-investigated subject from a unique -- and utterly entertaining -- vantage point.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 76

56%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 65

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Movie Info

In the mid-19th century, Emily Dickinson is writing prolifically, baking gingerbread, and enjoying a passionate, lifelong romantic relationship with another woman, her friend and sister-in-law Susan...yes this is the iconic American poet, popularly thought to have been a recluse. Beloved comic Molly Shannon leads in this humorous yet bold reappraisal of Dickinson, informed by her private letters. While seeking publication of some of the 1,775 poems written during her lifetime, Emily (Shannon) finds herself facing a troupe of male literary gatekeepers too confused by her genius to take her work seriously. Instead her work attracts the attention of an ambitious woman editor, who also sees Emily as a convenient cover for her own role in buttoned-up Amherst's most bizarre love triangle.

Cast

Molly Shannon
as Adult Emily
Susan Ziegler
as Adult Susan
Brett Gelman
as Higginson
Jackie Monahan
as Adult Lavina

News & Interviews for Wild Nights with Emily

Critic Reviews for Wild Nights with Emily

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (69) | Rotten (7)

  • The supporting cast excels, with Amy Seimetz, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, and Kevin Seal making the most of the well-tuned dialogue.

    March 11, 2020 | Full Review…
  • There is a lot of truth to what we are seeing, but it is presented in a sly, deadpan way that is always amusing.

    September 27, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Don't be alarmed by the first 10 minutes of this film. Stick with it, because the wobbly tone and some amateurish acting warm up into something lovely and memorable.

    June 6, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The legend that she rarely left her house and was a spinster and recluse is recast in this ribald production.

    June 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • "Wild Nights" goes too far at times, threatening to reduce the writer's life to the punchline of a literary version of Rodney Dangerfield: She got no respect.

    May 7, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It's respectful, but it's also alive. It's serious, but it's also tongue-in-cheek. Olnek's approach gives Emily room to breathe. At last.

    April 29, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wild Nights with Emily

  • 4d ago
    Molly Shannon stars as Emily Dickinson in the satirical comedy Wild Nights with Emily. Based on a stage play (and it shows), the story follow a supposed homosexual relationship Emily Dickinson had with her sister-in-law. Unfortunately it tries to mix period drama with farce and doesn't quite get there. And the actors don't seem to be on the same page either. Also, the directing is pretty weak, as many of the scenes come off looking staged and the backgrounds and settings are rather dull. Still, some of the comedy bits work, and there's some cleverness to the script in how it uses a frame story with an unreliable narrator. Wild Nights with Emily isn't all bad, but it doesn't translate to screen very well.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2020
    A joyously funny Feminist re-examination of Dickinson's personal life.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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