A new trailer for the movie Ammonite was just released, and we have a lot to say! Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan find love and fossils in this upcoming period romance, which we’re happy to say is another to be added to the list of LGBTQ+ period dramas, including Gentleman Jack and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which have gained popularity for being a positive influence on the LGBTQ community.
Saoirse Ronan plays Charlotte Murchison, a British geologist born in Hampshire, who meets British palaeontologist, Mary Anning (Kate Winslet). In the trailer Charlotte’s husband takes her to meet Mary, hoping she will be able to cure his wife’s melancholia (or depression). Kate Winslet has always been a talented actress that brings such a presence to the big and small screen, and though this is her first LGBTQ period piece, it feels like it won’t be the exception. She is no stranger to period dramas, though, having starred in Sense & Sensibility, A Little Chaos, The Reader and Finding Neverland.
Saoirse Ronan recently played Jo March in Little Women, so this isn’t her first period drama either. Hopefully Ammonite will be better than Little Women, which strayed so far from the beloved book. The young actress has a long list of successful movies under her name, after all. She’s proven that she can handle practically anything, from pulling off a Scottish accent to playing a rebellious teenager, and she feels like the perfect fit for the timid Charlotte Murchison.
The Powerful Women
The story centers on the romantic relationship between Mary Anning and Charlotte Murchison. In real life, the two became lifelong friends and Charlotte accompanied Mary on her fossil hunts. The details of their romantic relationship do not exist. Their husbands probably burned any evidence of a romantic attachment between the two women, though a lot of people will say it just didn’t exist.
What intrigues me is that this is a fictional account of their romantic relationships. We don’t really know anything other than these two are extremely powerful women. Charlotte studied geology and even helped her geologist husband with his studies and travels. According to Martina Ebert, quoting Mary Somerville, a polymath, Charlotte was an “amiable, accomplished woman, who drew prettily” and “what was rare at the time she had studied science, especially geology”.
Whole New Direction
The director Francis Lee is a rising star in the film community. He has three short films under his belt, including The Farmer’s Wife, Bradford Hailfax, London and The Last Smallholder. His feature debut was God’s Own Country and now Ammonite. Gods’ Own Country received a fresh rating from Rotten Tomatoes of 98%. Considering the film’s success, there is much hope that Ammonite will also be a success.
The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September, 2020. With the pandemic still in place, it’s likely that it will not premiere in theaters. Look for it on streaming services.