Most biopics are not known for humor, but comedy frequently prevails in this sparkling indie based on the life of Emily Dickinson. Adapted by writer-director Madeleine Olnek from her 1999 stage play and incorporating recent scholarship and scientific research that debunks the long-held image of Dickinson (Molly Shannon) as a shy, chaste recluse, the movie lampoons 19th-century American mores and skewers the self-important writers and editors who couldn't hold a candle to the Amherst poet they so smugly patronized. Far from being self-effacing, this Emily knows her worth and struggles to overcome discrimination against female authors; she also gives herself unreservedly—if by needs clandestinely—to the girlhood lover who later became her sister-in-law, Susan Gilbert Dickinson (Susan Ziegler). The supporting cast excels, with Amy Seimetz, Brett Gelman, Jackie Monahan, and Kevin Seal making the most of the well-tuned dialogue. But Dickinson's poems are hardly shortchanged: they appear throughout, inventively presented, revealing previously hidden facets of an extraordinary artist.