The electric trailer for biopic Ammonite dropped yesterday – and it’s all anyone can talk about. Directed by Francis Lee (famed for God’s Own Country) and wrapped-up just before lockdown restrictions set in, the film is based on the story of real-life fossil collector Mary Anning.
Starring Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet (we’re sold already), the trailer takes us back to 1800’s England, where paleontologist Mary Anning (Winslet) is happy living a secluded life hunting for fossils along the coastline. With her days of making famous geological discoveries behind her, she’s resigned herself to finding “cheap tourist fodder” to sell in order to support herself and her mother. Suffering from what was known at the time as ‘melancholia’ (read: the effects of patriarchal oppression), the young Charlotte Murchison (Ronan) is sent by her husband to become an apprentice for Mary in an effort to encourage her to learn and snap her out of her low mood.
After an initially prickly reception from the independent Mary, things slowly begin to heat up between the pair when she agrees to take Charlotte under her wing for a healthy fee. Despite their class differences and opposing views, the two end up embarking on a slow-burning but intensely passionate illicit love affair which gives us serious Gentleman Jack vibes.
Oh, and as if it couldn’t get any better, Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw also makes an appearance, alongside Gemma Jones, Alec Secareanu and James McArdle.
Ammonite is filled with longing looks and forbidden touch, with cinematic snapshots of the moody coast and fossils to boot. Set to be a brilliant tale of lesbian love and female independence during a time where women were more or less owned by their fathers and husbands, thankfully we don’t have to wait too long for the film’s release.
Initially set to play at Cannes Film Festival before its cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the biopic will finally have its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival in September and should be with us by November in the UK. Autumnal weather and Ammonite? Count us in.