It seems strange to say, but "A Quiet Passion," a biopic on American poet Emily Dickinson, feels tailored to Japan's sensitive side with its emphasis on inner calm and the dynamics of the family circle.

Cynthia Nixon, best known from the HBO series "Sex and the City," plays a Dickinson who delights in the mundane details of life. Director Terence Davies has Nixon recite the poet's work herself in lieu of a voice-over narrative and the overall portrayal of Dickinson's story is similar to something you might see in a Yasujiro Ozu film: Strong emotions rise with a gentle arc before dipping and fading out.

It's hard to believe Nixon, who spewed swear words with such total abandon for a solid six seasons in "Sex and the City," could be capable of such quietude, contemplation and restraint. The film's production notes state that the actress is a life-long fan of Dickinson's poetry and that she jumped at the opportunity to play this role. She certainly steps into it with effortless grace.