Run time: 118 mins
Ammonite must be the most sensually alive British picture since Francis Lee’s debut, God’s Own Country. It’s the kind of film that does things to your fingertips, and makes you want to buy candles.
Mary (Kate Winslet) is not quite living the life of esteem and acknowledgment she deserves, toiling away on the brutishly windy coast of Lyme Regis, caring for her sickly mother (Gemma Jones) and selling shiny souvenirs to passing tourists. It’s a stable if not impoverished existence.
The arrival of Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) and her husband, Roderick (James McArdle) will upend everything. He asks Mary to look after his wife; she’s sickly and needs the fresh sea air. Mary grudgingly agrees, and soon the two women become interested in each other.
Ammonite: taken from spiraling fossil shells, commits itself to exploring a secret affair, which with its period trappings and local’s (predictable) misogynistic asides – stands no chance.
One thing’s for sure, our lust for lesbian period dramas hasn’t dulled in the slightest.
We haven’t seen the last of films like Ammonite. When the quality is this good, long may they continue. (research Jack Whiting) That aside. There are many worldwide tales still to tell, aside easy, now tired, preachy, often humourless trend-mill yarns.