Emily (2022) Review
The Fictional Tale Of Emily Brontë
What do you do when information is scarce on your subject matter? Add to that that your subject matter lived in the 1800’s and the primary source of information is her sister, whom many have cast doubt on as a reputable source, and you can see the issue.
That person is the famed Emily Brontë, author of the novel Wuthering Heights, and the person attempting to tell her story is writer and director Frances O’Connor in her writing and directorial debut.
With this in mind, O’Connor decides to throw caution out the window, and any information that is generally considered ‘correct’ about Emily, and instead create a bodice-ripping, long-lingering shot of wavy grass viewing movie, and throw the Brontë’s in the middle.
Well, when I say throw the Brontë’s in the middle, O’Connor seems to consistently forget there was a third sister, with Anne, Amelia Gething (“The Amelia Gething Complex (TV)”, “The Spanish Princess (TV)”), consistently vanishing during the movie, only to suddenly reappear with no word on where she’s been or why.
There are moments in Emily when it feels like you’re watching a perfume advert, you know the ones, where at the end you think, “what the hell has that got to do with perfume”?
French actress Emma Mackey (“ Death on the Nile “, “Sex Education (TV)”) plays the titular Emily with her portrayal being rooted in the thought that Emily was a bit of an odd character, a loner. O’Connor then constantly pits Emily against her sister Charlotte, Alexandra Dowling (“The Musketeers (TV)”, “Game of Thrones (TV)”), be that love, sex, even writing, and then throws in a ‘dishy clergyman’ for Emily to jump between the sheets with.
Besides Emily the focus is also very much on the brother of the sisters, Branwell, played by Fionn Whitehead (“ The Duke”, “ Dunkirk “). He’s the ‘bad boy’ of the family, drinking, drugs and even, now brace yourself, the kissing of a married woman.
There are certain elements that verge on incest between brother and sister Emily and Branwell, something that Emily wrote about in Wuthering Heights so perhaps O’Connor knows something we don’t?
Anyone hoping for a factual movie about Emily Brontë will be sorely disappointed, although anyone hoping to see a factual movie about Emily Brontë will be perpetually disappointed given the information just isn’t there.
If you wish to see a period, body-ripping drama about a young girl rolling around in some fields and generally looking moody and sleeping with the young clergyman, there are far better that have gone before it, you should watch them instead.
Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com.