Emily Dickinson’s biopic

While A Quiet Passion may not be the best biographical film out there, it has its moments.

My favorites:

# 1 (Because it made me so angry)

Emily asks her father permission to write during the night for quiet’s sake. He agrees. Then she asks him to contact a friend who is the editor of a newspaper that publishes poetry. He does so, and soon after Emily submits some of her poems for consideration.

When Samuel Bowles, the entitled editor of the Springfield Republican, writes back, he starts by condescendingly informing that he has decided to publish one of her poems which shows “some wit“, and ends heart-wrenchingly by saying: “But I must confess that the genuine classics of every language are the work of men, not of women. Women, I fear, cannot create the permanent treasures of literature.”

#2 (Because it captures her wittiness so well)

Emily’s father: “Will you come to church, Emily? Your soul is no trivial matter.”
Emily: “I agree, father. That is why I’m so meticulous in guarding its independence.”

#3 (Because it made me think about the concept of family; the family we don’t get to choose, and the one about which we have a say, should we wish to form it).

Emily’s friend: “Will you marry?”
Emily: “I suppose in time I shall. Isn’t that what we all do in the end? I don’t know. I can’t imagine myself beyond my family. Among strangers.”

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Hello, I must be going

Hello, I must be going is a lovely movie with a simple, relatable, insightful and well-written script — with some beautiful drops of humor thrown here and there — beautifully delivered by terrific actors who look, sound and behave like regular people in everyday situations.

My favorite line, which was not said by the childless woman in the movie, but by a young man, is:

Sometimes it’s just easier, you know, to be like other people want you to be. Rather than fight it.

He tells this to the childless woman, with whom he is having an affair when explaining why he lets his mother continue to think he is gay when he is not. She started thinking he was gay after he played a gay character in a play.

She is really into being accepting, so I just let her think I’m gay. And she gets to be accepting.

Fast forward 5 min and then it’s time for Amy (the childless woman) to say:

Don’t do it. Just don’t do it if you don’t want to do it. It’s your life, right? It’s nobody else’s.

I could explain what she was referring to in the scene, but does it matter? Not really, as I think this line could apply to anything in life.

Even though the topics discussed in the two scenes mentioned above are not the same, I felt like putting them together, putting their lines together, because the theme was the same: being yourself, or finding out who you genuinely want to become.

This young character let his mom and other people believe that he was gay and that he enjoyed being an actor. He hated it. All of it. He really did.

Some women, for whatever reason, maybe because it is easier for them, do the same. They prefer to let people think they are going to have a child one day so that they don’t have to talk about their lack of desire, infertility, or ambivalence about becoming mothers. It’s, in a way, an acting exercise and they too are playing a role.

It’s my type of movie, but not the type of role I want to play in life.