In 1840s England, palaeontologist Mary Anning and a young woman sent by her husband to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship. Despite the chasm between their social spheres and personalities, Mary and Charlotte discover they can each offer what the other has been searching for: the realisation that they are not alone. It is the beginning of a passionate and all-consuming love affair that will defy all social bounds and alter the course of both lives irrevocably.
Much like its protagonist, 'Ammonite' is a film that initially keeps you at a distance - but this is a deliberate decision, one that makes the embrace of the final act all the more powerful. This isn't a sweeping story of passionate love, but a journey back <i>to</i> love, and a journey with an unexpected destination. Perhaps what Mary is looking for - the true fossil she is trying to uncover within herself - is not the connection of another person but the connection with herself, a forgotten part of herself long-buried or taken away. Charlotte is the path to that salvation, and in turn, is led out of the darkness herself, returned to a kind of love and passion thought lost, and giddy at the finding of it. 'Ammonite' is such a beautiful, soulful and intelligent film, made with honesty, integrity and an unexpected sense of humour that breaks through the rock encasing it. It confirms that our faith in Francis Lee is well-founded, and offers yet another classic queer drama that pushes against the expectations of the kinds of lives these films can explore.
See-Saw Films by Francis Lee.
Stars: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones, James McArdle.
Genres: Biography, Drama, Romance
Keywords: paleontologist biography lesbian relationship period drama lgbt fossil 19th century dorset lesbian romance
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