NEON has released the trailer for Francis Lee’s upcoming drama Ammonite. Set in 1840s England, the story follows fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet), who takes a melancholy young woman (Saoirse Ronan) as an apprentice and the two begin to fall for each other.
In a different year, it would be interesting to see how this played in the awards landscape. Ammonite still plans to make the rounds at Telluride and TIFF after being selected for Cannes, but it’s hard to build buzz for your movie when the physical festival has been largely obliterated. Would the film fare better if it were delayed to 2021? We’ll never know, but perhaps it will gain more notice in a less crowded marketplace.
As for this trailer, it gives off strong Portrait of a Lady on Fire vibes with its period setting and lesbian romance, and that sounds pretty good to me. If you’re going to echo a film, it may as well be echoing one of the finest romance stories of the 21st century. Also, it should be good to see Winslet and Ronan’s chemistry and how they share the screen together. Will it be enough to make a splash in a year dominated by COVID where people are just trying to live their lives? It’s tough to say! It’s hard to make any argument for movies right now when people are struggling how they’re going to stay employed or send their kids to school safely all with a monumental election looming. But if you set all that aside, this looks like a very nice movie.
Check out the Ammonite trailer below. The film opens November 13th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ammonite:
1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.