AceShowbiz - The first official trailer for Francis Lee's controversial film "Ammonite" has been shared for viewing pleasure. The movie stars Kate Winslet as acclaimed but overlooked paleontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning, who works alone on the rugged coastline in the south of the country.
Set in 1840s England, the film follows Mary who now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. One day, Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) and her husband pay her a visit. "My wife, she hasn't been at all well of late," says the husband, played by James McArdle. "She suffers from melancholia. I want her to walk the shoreline with you, learn from you." Mary initially turns it down, saying, "I'm not looking for an apprentice," but the husband offers a handsome payment that is too hard to resist.
As Charlotte takes apprenticeship under Mary, the two bond despite their initial clash due to their different social classes and personalities. The trailer sees Mary and Charlotte kissing as the latter says, "I don't want to go back to the life I had before you."
"Ammonite" has been tipped of Oscars, but it was met with criticism when it was announced last year that the film would focus on a romance that Mary shared with another woman. "I do not believe there is any evidence to back up portraying her as a gay woman," family member Barbara Anning said to the Telegraph, calling the decision "sensational."
Another relative, Lorraine Anning, begged to differ, saying that "as long as it's well presented and tastefully done" then it doesn't matter.
Explaining his take on Mary's life story, Lee said earlier this year, "It's not a biopic" but is inspired by Mary's life and also his research into same-sex female relationships of the period. "The idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society," he stated.
"Ammonite" was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and play at the Telluride Film Festival prior their cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will now receive its first screening in September as part of this year's Toronto film festival. The movie will be released on November 13.