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.



Reviews Counted: 29

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 16


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4.2/5

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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.


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

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Critic Reviews for Wild Nights with Emily

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (7)

  • Beneath the japery and rough-edged filmmaking is an abiding love for the work - its passion and resilience - and respect for the women whose hidden lifelong language that work may have been.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • While the style of the movie works against the seriousness of that message just a bit, it still gets through.

    Apr 17, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is an irreverent film, but its lightness is meaningful. With each silly flourish, Olnek offers joy and companionship to a figure whose history was more conveniently presented to generations of readers as solitary.

    Apr 11, 2019 | Full Review…
  • With a tone evocative of Drunk History, the film approaches storytelling with a whimsical air, where period authenticity of every object and costume isn't necessarily the focus.

    Apr 10, 2019 | Full Review…

    April Wolfe

    Top Critic
  • If the film has a flaw, its that it's so preoccupied with balancing its furious feminism with gags about Victorian life that there's little running time to lavish on Dickinson's actual poetry.

    Mar 22, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Amy Nicholson

    Top Critic
  • Wild Nights With Emily may be Olnek's most political film to date, one that could forever change the narrative of the world's most famous woman poet.

    Mar 13, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Jude Dry

    Top Critic

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