After last year’s radiantly excellent Portrait of a Lady on Fire, we might have said we feel sorry for anyone who’s planning on releasing a film about 19th century lesbian love affairs, but Francis Lee gave us what we’ve long considered one of the greatest gay romance films ever made, God’s Own Country, which is reason enough to feel optimistic about his latest film, Ammonite. Add Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan and it looks like you’ve got a serious contender:
If that doesn’t have “Oscar race” written all over it, we don’t know what does. It looks absolutely stunning. Saoirse gets nominated on an annual basis now, so it really is only a matter of time (although Amy Adams might snort if she read that). It feels like it’s been more than a minute since we’ve seen something from Kate Winslet that was worthy of her talents.
Just from the little we’ve seen, there’s a really unusual energy and chemistry between these two. And the costumes look gorgeously period-perfect as well as lived in. Can’t wait to see this one and then sit back and watch it get all the nominations. On the other hand, we’d be bad gays if we didn’t note that gay actresses should get more opportunities to play sweeping gay historical romances like this. You can’t tell us Kristen Stewart wouldn’t have been amazing in this.
In the 1840s, acclaimed self-taught palaeontologist Mary Anning works alone on the wild and brutal Southern English coastline of Lyme Regis. The days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now hunts for common fossils to sell to rich tourists to support herself and her ailing widowed mother. When one such tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives in Lyme on the first leg of a European tour, he entrusts Mary with the care of his young wife Charlotte, who is recuperating from a personal tragedy. Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down but, proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, she clashes with her unwanted guest. They are two women from utterly different worlds.
Yet 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.
[Photo Credit: Neon – Video Credit: Neon via YouTube]