A Quiet Passion ★★★★★

Davies places the beautiful and the ugly in such close proximity that the necessarily resulting tornadoes are awe-inducing. Cynthia Nixon gives one of the great performances of the new century, but don’t miss the less glamorous work that Jennifer Ehle and others do. But Nixon and Davies collaborate to invent a character (with some connection to Dickinson; I don’t know how much) that is all sharp edges that are never fully sanded down or sharpened, as Dickinson vacillates between sublimating and unleashing them. It’s the most extraordinary new film I’ve seen this year.