‘Emily’ Trailer: Emma Mackey Is a Tortured Emily Brontë in Frances O’Connor’s Directing Debut

"Mansfield Park" actress O'Connor makes her directorial debut, in select theaters February 17.
Courtesy Bleecker Street Films

Emma Mackey reaches new heights as ill-fated author Emily Brontë.

Set during the events that inspired “Wuthering Heights,” Frances O’Connor’s directorial debut “Emily” reimagines Brontë’s brush with love, embarking on an epic romance. Fionn Whitehead, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Alexandra Dowling, Adrian Dunbar, and Amelia Gething also star in the feature from Bleecker Street.

“Emily” debuted at 2022 TIFF and charts Brontë’s own Gothic story that inspired her seminal novel, “Wuthering Heights.” The official synopsis reads: “Haunted by the death of her mother, Emily struggles within the confines of her family life and yearns for artistic and personal freedom, and so begins a journey to channel her creative potential into one of the greatest novels of all time.”

“Emily” is produced by Piers Tempest, Robert Connolly, and David Barron.

IndieWire critic David Ehrlich praised “Sex Education” star Mackey’s “brilliant” performance in the titular role, writing, “invented splashes of rebellion and romance only add to the ecstatic truth that ‘Emily’ brings to its windswept tale of a stultified woman survived by her inner strength. They’re all the more agreeable in a movie that (mostly) eschews the presentism that’s become so en vogue in Victorian-era adaptation, and resists the urge to go full ‘Shakespeare in Love’ in its suggestion that Brontë lived a bit of ‘Wuthering Heights’ before she put it to paper.”

Ehrlich applauded first-time filmmaker and longtime actress O’Connor (“Mansfield Park,” “The Conjuring 2”) for writing and directing the “ravishing” drama that “with the same heart-in-its-hands emotionality she had to suffuse into her work.”

“‘Emily’ ultimately contrives a domino-like sequence of tragedies from that disconnect, mirroring ‘Wuthering Heights’ in the broadest of strokes without quite bordering on déjà vu,” Ehrlich penned. “It’s sad and well-arranged, even when it’s stunted by the palpable sense that a truly great work of art is hiding just over the horizon.”

“Emily” premieres in select theaters February 17.

Check out the trailer below.

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