Watch Wild Nights with Emily (2018) Online
Explore Emily Dickinson’s vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years — most notably her lifelong romantic relationship with another woman.
Wild Nights with Emily is a 2018 American biographical comedy film written and directed by Madeleine Olnek. It stars Molly Shannon as Emily Dickinson, as well as Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, Kevin Seal, Dana Melanie, Sasha Frolova, Lisa Haas and Stella Chesnut. The film is about Emily Dickinson’s life as a writer, her attempts to get published, and her vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years — most notably, her lifelong romantic relationship with another woman — dispelling the myth that she was an unloved recluse once and for all.
It had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 11, 2018, and was released in the US on April 12, 2019, by Greenwich Entertainment.
Mabel Todd first comes to Emily’s house on an invitation to play the piano for Emily, but is surprised when the maid tells her that she will play alone in the drawing room, and that Emily will remain upstairs to listen to the music while she writes. Mabel meets Austin after moving to Amherst, and they began an affair. They have little shame about it, and frequently appear in public together. They often go to Emily’s house to make love, which Emily avoids by staying in her room. Mabel suggests to Austin that they publish their love letters, but Austin finds that idea too scandalous and tells her to seek for a creative outlet elsewhere.
Emily suddenly becomes ill and passes away. Her sister Lavinia asks Susan to wash the body for burial. After her death, Mabel discovers a chest full of Emily’s poems and letters, but she realizes that many of the best ones are addressed to Susan. She enlists the help of Austin to erase all the instances of “Susan” and replace them with men’s names instead.
Years later after Emily’s work has become successful, Mabel gives a talk to a large group of society women. She tells them that because Emily was such an eccentric recluse, she only saw her face once: in the casket of her funeral. She explains that her poems must have been directed to Judge Otis, and that she added titles to all the poems so that audiences would know exactly what they were about. Emily’s niece also gives a lecture about how her aunt and mother were secret lovers, but only three people attend.
The film ends with titles explaining that recent technology has revealed Mabel’s erasures and shown that the love letters were indeed written to Susan.