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United Kingdom, Australia, United States · 2020
Rated R · 2h 0m
Director Francis Lee
Starring Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones, James McArdle
Genre Drama, Romance

In this gorgeous period drama, a once acclaimed fossil hunter, Mary Anning, must now sell trinkets to tourists in order to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his sick wife, Charlotte, the women become involved in an intense and life-altering affair.

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The Playlist by

While all the makings of a soul-wrenchingly impossible affair seem to be here, Ammonite sadly feels too distant, underpowered and colorless for its own good, as if somewhere down the line, its heart had died and hardened like a fossil waiting to be discovered.


BBC by Caryn James

One of Lee’s brilliant choices is to refuse to put a soppy romantic gloss on the affair. He suggests instead that passion can blind lovers to a true understanding of each other as easily as it can open their eyes.


The Hollywood Reporter by David Rooney

This is the work of a mature filmmaker in full command of his voice, yielding remarkable performances, chief among them a complex character study of stoicism and desire from Kate Winslet that might be the best work of her career.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

Ammonite, a work of art rather than science or history, has no qualms about departing from the known record — and does so with wit, beauty and a modernism that feels all the more bracing in this Victorian context.


Entertainment Weekly by Leah Greenblatt

There's an austerity to the film — long shots of stone and candlelight, clipped dialogue — that can feel rigorous, almost grim. But Lee (God's Own Country) is only building a richer kind of mood, and priming the canvas for his actresses, who reward that faith with remarkable performances.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Ultimately more symbolic than satisfying, the project leaves one grateful that two stars of this caliber would take on such a story, while wishing their efforts had left us with a more resonant artifact.


Vanity Fair by Richard Lawson

Whatever the truth of Anning and Murchison’s time in Dorset together was, Ammonite could have done whatever it wanted. It chooses instead to do close to nothing, and leaves us, quite like its central pair, helplessly grasping for more.

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