‘Ammonite’ Review: Lesbian Romance by Kate Winslet and Cyrus Ronan

Never mind culture, never mind century, one of the great obstacles facing LGBT people is the virtual invisibility of those who have come before. If you do not see someone like you in an asymmetrical – asymmetrical and asymmetrical – society, then it is hard to feel anything other than disorientation, only outside and alone. When critics say, “Representation matters,” this is why: Art – but also artifacts, including diaries, paintings, and possessions that belong to real people – creates a kind of fossil record of those who You were in front of you, presenting evidence that others have faced the same question.

Named for that species of spiral-shaped mollusk, whose heroine is thirsty on the southern coasts of England, the timid “Ammoni” has this metaphor in mind. Located on the overcast coast of Lyme Regis, around 1840, the film centers on a real person, played by amateur paleontologist Mary Enning – a remarkably committed, completely unconscious Kate Winslet – who made her such an attraction for tourists. Spent in collecting and cleaning fossils. Little is known about this woman, whose expertise was largely self-taught, and in this void step filmmaker Francis Lee envisioned a life that would have transformed Mary into a hardy proto-feminist pioneer. is.

In Lee’s eyes, Mary may suffer from a lack of lesbian role models, but in her hands, she emerges as the kind of figure she probably needed to embrace her sexuality more fully . There is little evidence to suggest the real Mary Anning that there was a queue or that even a bit of repression does not discourage actor-autocracy. There is a real woman, but there is a shell on which she can live on her own, and all she wants is to believe that such a person can have the strength to love another woman – an unusual form Embodied here by the fragile Sairiras Ronan – at a time when such relationships were all but forbidden.

Lee did not know when he took “Ammonite” that the way Mary chose life compared to last year’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was a richer and significantly more artistic film that is remarkably Was the same. The analogy – one where paint, rather than petrification, preserved a love story that otherwise might have gone undocumented. Nevertheless, many viewers missed “Portrait” (a French film now available through The Krishen Collection), and it is enough that all of “Ammoni” is unique enough to make the same recommendation.

There are performances to begin with: Winslet swallows the value and infamy of black hole oppression as Mary, a staunch monk whose dour character is pacified by self-sufficiency, while the yellow flowers Rhone entrusts to care for him Symbolizes, and in whose company Mary’s frosty exterior begins to melt. To be more specific, Mary lives – with her boisterous mother (Gamma Jones), who has been traumatized by past losses – and works in a dense seaside shop from where she gathers on the seashore Sells fossils of ammonites (which are factual).

To the untrained eye, the stone that Mary identifies may seem nothing more than a useless wreck, carved by the sea, but she has been doing it for a long time to identify which of these rocks There are magnificent prehistoric specimens, hidden inside. If this sounds like another metaphor, then rest assured, this cannot be accidental, though the film never runs through the notion of Mary being open.

One to do so would be Charlotte (Ronan), a wife looking like a gentleman named Roderick Murchison (James McArdle), a relatively good member of the Royal Geographical Society, who somewhat favorably seeks out Mary. Teach him how to identify ammonites. He offers to pay her, first for a lesson and later to serve as a protector for her ailing husband. Charlotte suffers from some type of “mild melancholia” – although it can’t help that her husband’s yet oblivious husband, who is cold in bed, dismisses her concerns such as “don’t fuss.”

Roderick Leaves and Charlotte Mops for a time, while Lee tries to figure out what came so easy in his previous film: He sows seeds of desire in the soil to appear infertile. Mind You, “Ammonite” is just Lee’s second feature, following the rustic coming-of-age story “God’s Own Country”, which was notable for its rugged, impeccable authenticity. In the opening minutes of that film, a young farmer stabs his arm deep into a cow’s tent, a nervous sight that effectively engages the viewer in an assortment of bodily fluids: spit, spunk, sh , Flea and blood.

It may sound pretty good, though, that the staggering array of effluvia serves to make the latter action – especially anti-gay sex – feel just as natural as everything that goes down on a farm. Lee is nothing if not compatible here. If you like your queer romance, graphic and sad romance, then he is your man. In “Ammonite”, Lee makes her first visit to Mary and Charlotte, arriving at a close-to-the-edge edge of urine splashed on rocks, which is hardly seductive – at this point, the two women (outright apathetic) look wary Another – but establishes a different kind of intimacy between them.

Charlett could hardly be less interested in the rock collection, and Mary made little effort to confuse him, suggesting that the younger woman would go for a swim instead. Charlotte makes as much effort, but captures the sick, causing Mary to go to her old friend Elizabeth (Fiona Shaw) in a lifeless past due to salve and several oblique gestures. Was Mary and Elizabeth Once Lovers? If so, why has it not happened?

Under Mary’s treatment, Charlotte quickly rebels, and after a recap hosted by Alec Sekeranu of the local doctor (“God’s Own Country”), in which a complex web of micro-jealousies is woven, the two women find themselves Incapable. Denies their attraction for any long time., Although the scene is modeled almost exactly after one in Jane Campion’s “Piano,” whose hapless former adulterous tone mimics “Ammoni” – a temporary Good Night Kisses opens the door for a cheer neither Charlotte nor the audience is quite prepared for, somehow remembering the supersonic outburst of extramarital passion that follows. (Perhaps it lacks an upbeat score The music is rarely seen in any of Lee’s films.) Their love is definitely sharp.

Tonight, “Ammonite” feels a sense of oppression, reinforced by a visual palette that is practically of one color: pasty women in black bonnet and frock, against gray rocks and dusty interiors Set. Winslet’s make-up, designed to look flawless, works to make her look striking, while a young, optimistic blush appears in Ronan’s cheeks, revealing an optimism for him that his The relationship can continue.

Lee has taken a bold step to redefine Mary Anning as gay, but he does not dare to create an easy fantasy to achieve his emotional fulfillment, and the film’s final scenes are likely those Will Split, who has not already screened, makes this an unusually demanding drama. “Ammonite” is linear but low-key, relying on the audience’s ability to appreciate the subtle, subtextual cue Winslet and Ronan transmit through body language, especially keeping their tongues. In the end more symbolic than satisfying, the project leaves one grateful that two stars of this caliber would work on a story like this, while their wished efforts left us with more resonant artifacts.