Biographical films about writers don’t crop up all that frequently. Sometimes they bring together noteworthy actors and directors–Ben Whishaw as John Keats in Jane Campion’s 2009 Bright Star, for instance. Sometimes they head into more surreal territory, such as Paul Schrader’s experimentally-structured Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. There’s also André Téchiné’s 1979 film The Brontë Sisters, which offers the surreal experience of watching real-life figures who help shape the modern English-language novel holding forth in French. This year brings with it A Quiet Passion, a film about the life of Emily Dickinson (here played by Cynthia Nixon) and directed by Terence Davies. The trailer focuses on meticulously-arranged period scenes and Nixon speaking with care and clarity. Earlier this year, Richard Brody discussed the film in The New Yorker, saying that
It displays an urgent outpouring of pent-up creative energy from a director well advanced in his career but tapping into ideas, impulses, and talents that somehow have been kept under wraps throughout his decades of artistic activity.
So that sounds encouraging. You can watch the trailer below.