"This film does take artistic liberties but it meets real life history with a thoughtful nature, appealing to a modern audience and offering up a very entertaining two and a bit hours"
Most have heard of the name Brontë – synonymous with sisters, literature excellence and England. You would be forgiven though, for not knowing much about Charlotte Brontë’s younger sister, Emily, what with details of her life being so sparse and not much facts known to biographers.
It is in this film where fiction, speculation and little known facts are so brilliantly combined to share some speculative insight into the life of the woman who wrote the much loved literary classic, Wuthering Heights. In fact, it is this very path of coming to write this classic in which we find Emily, played superbly by lead Emma Mackey. The exploration of the character’s home life, relationship to her family, the discovery of self and her inspiration before she found her desire to write is portrayed intelligently and poignantly in this biopic written and directed by Frances O’Connor.
The film is littered with stunning cinematography by Nanu Segal, set in the wild beauty of the Yorkshire countryside where the Brontë family lived. There is a certain nostalgia attached to such shots, captivating the audience’s mind into questioning and also realising where such inspiration came from, for such talented writers to blossom. The cast serve outstanding performances; perfectly balancing the emotions of the characters trying to live up to the societal norms of the time whilst also still trying to retain the essence of themselves as individuals – demonstrated particularly in the standout performance from Fionn Whitehead playing the youngest Brontë brother, Branwell.
This film does take artistic liberties but it meets real life history with a thoughtful nature, appealing to a modern audience and offering up a very entertaining two and a bit hours, which is not an easy task. In all, O’Connor has definitely scored in her directorial debut.