Among the Bronte sisters, Emily is the most mysterious. Reclusive and shy, she preferred walking on the Yorkshire Moors and the companionship of close family and friends to strangers.
The new biopic, Emily, was written and directed by Frances O’Connor. It tells the story of its title character and her relationship with her father’s curate, William Weightman (Oliver Jackson Cohen). While the rest of the family (sisters Charlotte (Alexandra Dowling) and Anne (Amelia Gething), brother Branwell (Fionn Whitehead), and father Patrick (Adrian Dunbar)) welcome him with open arms, Emily (Emma Mackey) is suspicious of the new arrival.
William teeters between a disapproving paternal figure and a suitor who is quicker to recognize their growing attraction than she is. Emily is determined to keep him at arm’s length. When they finally get together, the dam breaks. But when real life intervenes, they are torn apart.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Emily. If an audience member knows nothing or next to nothing about the Brontes, it’s fine. But, if you are a fangirl of the sisters (like I am), that’s another story entirely.
What kills me is that there is so much information out there that O’Connor either ignored or played around with to fit her narrative. I understand that this is a work of fiction and not a documentary. That being said, she could have been a lot more faithful to what is known about Bronte.
Though I did appreciate the callbacks to Wuthering Heights and Mackey’s performance, I was highly disappointed with the movie and O’Connor’s choice of story.
Do I recommend it? No. It is one of the worst films that I have seen in a long time.
Emily is presently playing in theaters.