Parents' Guide to

Emily

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Intimate Bronte biopic has sex, themes around addiction.

Movie R 2023 130 minutes
Emily movie poster

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This biopic about one of Britain's most celebrated authors is an encouraging directorial debut feature from Frances O'Connor, who brings her screenplay to life in a unique, but also familiar way. Emily does feel like a classic period drama at times. But likewise it's got a naturalistic feel to it. Its handheld shaky camera and close-ups truly put you into the same room as the characters, rather than have you feel like you're merely observing from behind a pane of glass, as though at a museum -- which can often happen with this genre.

What transpires is an intimate character study. But for that to work, a strong central performance is required. Thankfully Mackey more than delivers. She brings vulnerability as well as a mischief to the role. We get a sense for the writer's fallibility, but also the sharp and witty mind that lives within. The film could have perhaps had a more deft editing job, with the middle act waining somewhat. But the strength of the performances keep the audience engaged.

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