Emily brontë

The sexing-up of Emily Brontë

In a month that has seen more than its fair share of chaos, I had hoped the release of the first-ever Emily Brontë biopic would at last offer some cause for celebration. But Emily, which arrived in cinemas this week, has provided quite the opposite.  Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut focuses on a fling between Emily (played by Emma Mackey) and her father Patrick’s dishy assistant curate William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), suggesting that their racy romance inspired Wuthering Heights.  Not only is there no evidence that this relationship took place, but there are clues that it was actually the youngest of the sisters, Anne, who caught Weightman’s eye. Charlotte wrote that Weightman ‘sits opposite

Ravishing, daring biopic of Emily Brontë: Emily reviewed

The life of Emily Brontë is an enduring object of fascination. So small, the life, so sparse, so limited. Yet it delivered those magnificent poems and Wuthering Heights. How could this be? Genius, I suppose, paired with a vivid interior life. But as neither of those are cinematic, Emily imagines what could have led her to write as she did. It’s a ‘speculative biopic’, and modern, but there’s no Billie Eilish on the soundtrack or breaking of the fourth wall or jokey intertitles or any of those larks, which is a mighty relief. Instead, it’s daring, and ravishing. If you’d asked me if Emily might have ever tried opium, or

Thoughtful and impeccable: Ken Burns’s Hemingway reviewed

Ken Burns made his name in 1990 with The Civil War, the justly celebrated 11-and-a-half-hour documentary series that gave America’s proudly niche PBS channel the biggest ratings in its history. Since then, he’s tackled several other big American subjects like jazz, Prohibition and Vietnam; and all without ever changing his style. In contrast to, say, Adam Curtis (another ambitious film-maker whose methods have remained unchanged for 30 years), Burns’s documentaries take an almost defiantly considered approach, forgoing anything resembling self-regarding flashiness in favour of such old-school techniques as knowledgeable talking heads, careful chronology and straightforwardly appropriate visuals. Hemingway, his new six-parter being shown on BBC4, duly fails to mark a