Emily – TIFF 2022

Emily – TIFF 2022

Emily imagines the transformative, exhilarating, and uplifting journey to womanhood of a rebel and a misfit, one of the world’s most famous, enigmatic, and provocative writers who died too soon at the age of 30.

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The all-to-short life story of the author of “Wuthering Heights” is told in . Emily Jane Brontรซ () is the second-youngest daughter of an Anglican priest in 19th-century England. Berated by her older sister Charlotte (Alexandra Dowling) for being the strange one in the family, Emily takes solace in her brother Branwell (Fionn Whitehead), the family's black sheep. In secret, Emily writes poems, which results in her entering a love affair with her father's curate William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).

Emily is a historical period drama and the directorial debut of actress Frances O'Connor. The film stars Emma Mackey (Sex Education, Death on the Nile) as author Emily Brontรซ, who died of tuberculosis at the age of 30, not long after her only novel “Wuthering Heights” was published in 1847. The film starts with a scene of Emily on her deathbed before flashing back to depict the notable events of her life, which include her close bond with brother Branwell and her love affair with William Weightman.

For much of its 130-minute running time, Emily is a typical period drama, so I found it to be an overly long and somewhat dull film to watch. That said, Emily has one sequence in the movie, more akin to gothic horror, where the titular character puts on a white mask and is seemingly possessed by her late mother. This scene comes out of nowhere and is only referenced once throughout the film. It's a shame since Emily would've been a much more interesting film if it played with genre conventions a bit more.

Trailer for Emily – TIFF 2022

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How to Watch Emily – TIFF 2022

Where to Stream Emily – TIFF 2022

Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


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