The Quorum

The Quorum’s Pick For The Best Film Of 2023: EMILY

The Brontë sisters are some of the most mysterious figures in modern literature. Two of them wrote enduring classics – Charlotte’s JANE EYRE and Emily’s’ WUTHERING HEIGHTS – and yet little is known about the sisters who all passed away before age 40.

Adding to the mystery is the lack of confirmed photographs of the sisters. This painting, done by their brother Branwell Brontë, is the most recognized likeness of the three, with Anne on the left, Emily in the middle, and Charlotte on the right

Several years ago, a daguerreotype (below) of three women surfaced in France with the words “The Brontë Sisters” written on the back. The timing and provenance of the photo are murky, though it is believed that Emily is the one in the middle. If you want to go down a Brontë rabbit hole, this site is an excellent place to start.

The lack of information about the Brontë sisters is what makes writer-director Frances O’Connor’s EMILY so compelling. With the master strokes of an impressionist painter, O’Connor fills in those gaps to present what Emily might have been like.

Emma Mackey gives a luminous performance as the beguiling title character who prefers the countryside near home while her sister Charlotte goes off to explore the rest of the world. Married with a haunting score by Abel Korzeniowki, EMILY transports you to Yorkshire moors 160 years ago. And though it is clearly a fictionalized take, EMILY adds some clarity to who Emily Brontë might have been. At the very least, it makes her legacy more compelling. EMILY stays with you long after the final frame.

Watch the trailer for EMILY here.

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