Emily Movie Review

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.

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Emily is presently playing in theaters.

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Thoughts On the Emily Trailer

Among the Bronte sisters, Emily Bronte is the one who fans know the least about. She only published one book, Wuthering Heights, and kept mostly within the circle of family and friends.

The trailer for Emily was released earlier this week. Written and directed by Frances O’Connor, Emma Mackey stars in the lead role as the mysterious and rebellious author.

The movie is about Emily’s life and her supposed romance with William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). William was a local curate who was a friend of the Bronte family and if the narrative of the film is true, interested in Emily romantically.

I got Becoming Jane vibes while watching the trailer. Both Bronte and Weightman died young, leaving it up to conjecture as to the truth about their relationship. Bronte fans and academics have long believed that it was Anne, not Emily, who Weightman was in love with.

Only time will tell if it is true to what we know about Bronte or if it is based on unsubstantiated rumors. Either way, I look forward to seeing it.

Emily will be released in Canada and Europe in the next few months. The release date for the United States has not been announced yet, but it will likely occur sometime next year.

Emily’s Ghost Book Review

Among the literary set, Emily Bronte is a giant among giants. Her sole novel, Wuthering Heights, is equally one of the most romantic novels ever written while exposing to hypocrisy of life in Victorian England.

In 2010, Denise Giardina published Emily’s Ghost. Taking the reader into the head of one of the most reclusive writers, we see the world through Emily’s eyes. Disdaining proper society, Emily Bronte is an outsider who has no pretensions to fit in. She wears outdated fashion, rarely speaks to anyone outside of her family, is happiest walking on moors with her pets and writes poetry that is fiercely contradictory to the image that most see of her.

Enter William Weightman. Patrick Bronte is not a young man anymore. Mr. Weightman is hired to take on the duties that Reverend Bronte cannot. Young, open-hearted and idealistic, William Weightman is sought after by several young women as a prospective husband. Surprisingly, he slowly falls in love with Patrick Bronte’s second to youngest daughter, who is anything but conventional. Despite her misgivings about living a conventional life and all that it entails (marriage included), Emily is equally in love. ¬†While I keep hoping that Emily Bronte will have a happy ending, history would dictate otherwise.

This book is nothing short of amazing. Seeing the world through the eyes of one of the greatest writers of the English language was thrilling. As a writer and a woman, I find Emily Bronte (and her sisters by extension), to be nothing short of heroes. They defied the idea of what it was not just to be a writer and a woman, but to be a woman writer. In breaking the mold, they paved the way for the rest of us.

I absolutely recommend this book.

 

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