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‘Wild Nights with Emily’ Film Review: Molly Shannon Brilliantly Reimagines Emily Dickinson

‘Wild Nights with Emily’ Film Review: Molly Shannon Brilliantly Reimagines Emily Dickinson

Terence Davies did a fine job writing and directing “A Quiet Passion,” a biopic about the life of the late poet Emily Dickinson, whose legacy has been shrouded in a blanket of tales about chronic pain, unrequited love, and a generally dismal existence of literary obscurity. The accepted story of Dickinson and the one Davies stuck with is that she toiled in solitary self-confinement, refusing to see visitors. But in “Wild Nights With Emily,” writer-director Madeleine Olnek proffers an alternative — and perhaps much more truthful — history of this iconic lesbian of literature: What if Emily actually had fun?

With a tone evocative of “Drunk History,” the film approaches storytelling with a whimsical air, where period authenticity of every object and costume isn’t necessarily the focus. They filmed in Los Angeles (at the Heritage Square Museum), so Olnek clearly had to contend with harsher SoCal natural light than Dickinson would have had in New England,

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