Emily out on the moors

“How did you write it? How did you write Wuthering Heights?” Charlotte Brontë asks her sister Emily as Emily lies on her deathbed. Emily is the answer, a feverish blend of fact and fancy, part biography, part romantic extravaganza. It’s tasteful but not twee, gothic but not ridiculously so. Pulling off the impressive feat of being about the life and the work, and taking inspiration from 1940s Hollywood, Frances O’Connor’s debut movie as a writer and director tells the (not very true at all) story of the adult life and death aged 30 of author Emily Brontë. O’Connor also borrows from Jane Austen for her story of a picky young woman who meets … Read more

The Duke

Kempton and Dorothy at home

The Duke is a great example of the sort of film that Brits make for domestic consumption and which often do pretty well internationally as well. Playing up to harmless stereotypes, they’re full of silly sausages with funny voices and odd, eccentric behaviours. Here for the most part it’s Northerners being earthy and honest and principled, while down South a different sort of daffy stereotype – posh, restrained, clean – are hauling on barristers’ outfits and judges’ horsehair wigs to use Latinate turns of phrase in the most rarefied of settings, the courtroom. Both export beautifully. Both reassure the natives even more. The stereotypes are diamond tooled in The Duke, a true story … Read more