• Dana Piccoli

Five reasons why you'll dig (get it) "Ammonite"

There are plenty of reviews out there already of Francis Lee's period drama, Ammonite, but let's get to the heart of the matter. This is a good film, released during a very bad time. The movie industry is fighting against a foe that has no timeline and shows little mercy. The Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan vehicle was released in theatres this past weekend, a place where few want to venture even to see a great film. The numbers were difficult to see, but I have no doubt that the Victorian-based film will do well in VOD. Here are five reasons why you should put December 4th on your calendar and rent or buy Ammonite on demand.

Supporting LGBTQ films is crucial, now more than ever. The film industry (which also includes theatres and cinemas) has been through the wringer this year. Budgets will be tighter in the coming years, and in order to get major studios to support more LGBTQ films, audiences need to show up. That means not just physically but virtually now. Ammonite is a slow burner with some wonderful performances, totally worth your time.

Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan have lovely chemistry. While most outlets are obsessed with the duo's love scenes (how many times can you ask actors the same questions!?) there's much more to these characters' connection than what happens beneath the sheets. When Winslet's steely Mary Anning starts to bend in Charlotte's (Ronan) tender direction, it's a beauty to see.

Fiona Shaw is a total delight. Winslet isn't the only one portraying a real-life person. Shaw plays Elizabeth Philpot, a frequent collaborator, and friend of Anning's. In the film, the two once shared a romance, doomed by Anning's ability to let anyone into her rigid, fossil-focused world. Where Anning is played as introverted and frosty, Shaw's Philpot lights up every room with warmth and confidence. Killing Eve fans, you'll love her in this.

For a story set over 200 years ago, the women have quite a lot of autonomy. After Charlotte's husband pawns her off on Mary so he can go adventuring, the two women discover an intimate friendship that leads to much more. After dealing with "melancholia" Charlotte comes into her own after meeting Mary, pushing herself to do and become more, even planning how she can still have what she desires when she goes back to her old socialite life. Mary herself is a genius and groundbreaker and is paid a sincere amount of deference for her science. When it comes to being together, for Mary and Charlotte it's a natural progression that yields little shame or fear. Something that is refreshing to see in period pieces.

Fossils, baby. Mary Anning was a real person and while the details of her personal life are imagined here, she was a true force to be reckoned with. Her fossil findings have shaped the way science looks at pre-historic life. It was a pain-staking, dirty, and sometimes dangerous process and science owes a tremondous amount to this special woman.

Ammonite is now in theatres, and available for VOD Decemeber 4th.

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