Emily Review – Captivating, Resonating, Emotionally Charged

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Emily, from Bleeker Street, brings to the screen the sizzling story of the creative inspiration behind the ground-breaking novel "Wuthering Heights," and the fight for artistic freedom, the madness of mediocrity, and the allure of the unknown.

The film begins with Emily, played by Emma Mackey, in the coastal English countryside creating characterization of the stories that flow, like an never-ending stream, from her mind. Suddenly she is interrupted as her sister, Charlotte, played by Alexandra Dowling, returns home a successful teacher.

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Once again, the house is full of childhood remembrances as the three Bronte sisters, Emily, Charlotte, and Anne, played by Amelia Gething, and their much-loved brother, Branwell, played by Finn Whitehead, who has just been accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts return home to celebrate.

We also meet William Weightman, played by Olivier Jackson-Cohen, who has joined Mr. Bronte, played by Adrian Dunbar, as the new junior minister in the saving of the parish souls.

Even before Emily's determination to pour her soul onto the pages, she is writing poetry, and for those who read her words she is eloquent, and the words expressive, shocking, and erotic. When the poetry falls into the hands of the Mr. Weightman she is deemed possessed, influenced by the bad behavior of her brother, who has taken to drinking and other available anesthetics.

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Criticized by her sisters for her vulgar work, she continues her secret writing compelled by an artistic wellspring, the words express lives unlived, experiences unknown, and still she is overlooked regulated by family to last, to the odd egg.

Her ability to transport others to places undiscovered is not only seen on paper. In a pivotal moment of folly, the four children and Mr. Weightman, have gathered for an evening of fun. As they each cover their faces with the expressionless white mask Emily so clearly channels her dead mother, she elicits a response from all.

Soon Mr. Weightman, who is not bound by church rules of singleness, becomes torn by his love for Emily and his devotion the church. When they are alone and away from the disapproving eyes of her family, they erupt with passion. Unfortunately for her, happiness is frowned on in the Bronte family, and everyone seems to be circumventing her in hopes of destroying the love that has grown between them. Even he, in his guilt and inability to reconcile his feelings with his profession, lashes her with harsh, hateful words and with authority ends the romance.

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She decides to leave and travel with her sister to Brussels, and as Mr. Weightman realizing the love of his life is leaving him, pens an heartfelt letter declaring his love and as he is unable to pass it to her himself enlists the aid of her brother, Branwell, who by now is a full on alcoholic and Opium user.

One night in a dream she sees Mr. Weightman, in the corner of the room calling her name. We find out the next morning he died. The girls return home to help their father deal with the loss, and soon after Branwell becomes ill, and his dying state, tries to make amends for holding the letter.

Emily is masterful, a journey of passion, despair, hope, loss and heartache, of finding a voice amidst the sea of sorrow and the spiteful desire to derail the imagination through the darkest and wounding jealousies. Emotionally charged, Emily explores the struggles of an artistic life against the expectations of society. The ensemble cast is brilliant and delivers magnificent, sizzling, performances.

Emily opens in select theaters February 17, 2023. See it.

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Country: UK.

Language: English.

Runtime: 130minutes.

Release date; February 17, 2023.

Director: Frances O'Connor.

Produced by: Piers Tempest, Robert Connolly, David Barron.

Writer: Frances O'Connor.

Cast: Emma Mackey, Fionn Whitehead, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Alexandra Dowling, Adrian Dunbar, Amelia Gething, and Gemma Jones.

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