After making his directorial debut with the critical acclaimed God’s Own Country, Francis Lee is returning with Amonite. The film has just recently wrapped on principle photography and BBC Films has released the first look image.
The film features Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan as Mary Anning and Charlotte Murchison. The highly anticipated romantic drama, inspired by the life of the Victorian-era palaeontologist, with Lee directing and writing an original screenplay. Iain Canning and Emile Sherman from See-Saw Films (Widows, Lion, Shame) and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (Lady Macbeth, My Generation) are producing.
As well as the above image, we have a official synopsis, check it out…
In 1800s England, acclaimed but unrecognised fossil hunter Mary Anning works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte, she cannot afford to turn his offer down. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, Mary initially clashes with her unwelcome guest, but despite the distance between their social class and personalities, an intense bond begins to develop, compelling the two women to determine the true nature of their relationship.
Ammonite was shot on location in the historical hometown of Mary Anning – Lyme Regis, Dorset – and further locations in Surrey and London, with cinematographer Stéphane Fontaine (A Prophet, Rust and Bone).
Related: Film Review – 2017 Edinburgh Film Festival | Blu-Ray
Francis Lee comments on his inspiration for the screenplay: “I first came across Mary Anning when I was looking for a fossil for my boyfriend. I was instantly drawn to this working-class woman who despite being born disadvantaged within a class-ridden, patriarchal society, rose to being one of the leading authorities in her field, but whose accomplishments went almost totally unrecognised by her contemporaries. She felt like a survivor despite all odds and I’m deeply drawn to characters within this context as they feel very close to me. There is virtually nothing written about her personally, largely because of her gender and class, but I knew I didn’t want to make a biography, I wanted to give her a relationship with someone that felt worthy of her. Within this I wanted to explore the dynamics of a relationship and how we navigate the sense of self within that. Above all I wanted to make sure I gave dignity and respect to elevate Mary Anning to the status she should have had when she was alive. History for me is a creative discipline based on interpretations.”
Joining the previously announced Winslet and Ronan in the cast are Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve), James McArdle (Mary Queen of Scots), and reuniting with Lee are God’s Own Country alumni Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones Diary) and Alec Secareanu (Baptiste).
Lionsgate Films are set to release Amonite in the Uk and Ireland. There is no confirmed release date just yet.