Stripped down of the showiness normally festooned on period dramas biopic ‘Emily’ is set in a windswept and frequently torrential rain drained North of England though doesn’t go as far as introducing men in flat caps with their ragged lurchers who tramped across the Moors having rolled around in goodness only knows what. Emily played by a terrific Emma Mackey is battling her own demons in a sort of origin story leading up to her writing her masterwork Wuthering Heights and here Emily Bronte veers between being sullen, passionate, bitter, angry and suffering from her widower father’s less than caring and loving attitude to her instead showering it on her older laddish brother and genteel sister Charlotte who she is frequently pitted against so its little wonder that she struggles with her emotions in her short life that ended early at only 30 years of age from tuberculosis.
Little is actually known about Emily Bronte’s life and what is known is here treated maybe a little too liberally and her biographer’s will likely question her use of opium and an affair with a curate who was employed to teach her French but clearly took it upon himself to teach her human biology too and their scenes are increasingly loaded with seething sexuality and carnal lust before Emily starts getting jiggy with Mr Biggy – a phrase that we intend to use in any modern retelling of her life.
Every family has a black sheep, that one member who brings shame, embarrassment and disgrace to the family just ask King Charles. Emily Bronte was never really that person despite what the film suggests and even though little is truly known about her writer-director Frances O’Connor’s film goes some way to explore what little we do know about her life and does its best to fill in the gaps. A complex tragic woman whose life was cut short, Emily will not satisfy everyone but there’s plenty here for fans of her work to mull over.
Watch the Emily trailer HERE