Emily Bronte was only 30 when she died of tuberculosis in 1848 yet her novel Wuthering Heights is regarded as one of the great works of English literature.
The film Emily, from writer-director Frances O’Connor, is a romantic drama which imagines how a repressed young woman in Victorian times could have produced such a remarkable novel.
Emma Mackey (Sex Education) is compelling as Emily, a high-spirited, enigmatic loner who reluctantly conforms with the strict regime set by her widowed father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte (Adrian Dunbar).
She is the youngest of the three talented Bronte sisters, Charlotte (Alexandra Dowling), author of Jane Eyre, and Anne (Amelia Gething), author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, but she is closest to her brother Branwell (Fionn Whitehead), an alcoholic and opium addict, whose free spirit she admires.
When a handsome young curate, William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) appears on the scene, Emily is at first dismissive. Then he becomes her French tutor and a spark ignites between them, leading to a raging sex scene and a reckless affair.
Emily is devastated when the pious young man abruptly ends their relationship, declaring that it was ungodly and evil.
She tells him she is giving up writing, and leaves for Brussels with Charlotte.
There is no evidence that Emily Bronte ever had a relationship with Weightman but so little is known of her personal life that O’Connor has had plenty of scope to fill in the gaps.
This first-time director has produced a lavish period drama set in the dramatic and stormy Yorkshire downs, beautifully filmed by cinematographer Nanu Segal.
Emily opens on January 12 at Luna Leederville, Luna On SX and the Windsor.
Thanks to our friends at Madman Entertainment, we have five in-season double passes to Emily give away. To enter our easy contest, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
telling us in a sentence what your new year’s resolution is. Be sure to include your postal address in case you win. Good luck!
Watch the trailer…