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Mary Shelley

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United Kingdom, Luxembourg, United States · 2018
Rated PG-13 · 2h 0m
Director Haifaa al-Mansour
Starring Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Stephen Dillane
Genre Drama, Romance

After announcing their love for each other, Mary (Elle Fanning) and Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth) face judgment from their families. This conflict only becomes worse once the two families discover they've eloped. The newlyweds go to stay at Lord Byron's house in Geneva where an impromptu ghost story contest leads to a creation that will change Mary’s life forever.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by Andrew Barker

Impressively shot and suffused with a righteous feminist fire, the film is undercut by a confused and clunky script and a fundamental lack of thematic focus, turning an extraordinary story into didactic and disjointed melodrama.


The Guardian by Benjamin Lee

Shelley’s mistreatment by the literary elite because of her gender is a compelling, uniquely frustrating element and the film deprives us of the suitably grand exploration that it deserves.


CineVue by Christopher Machell

Mary Shelley is a film at relentless pains to tell us how poetic and ethereal its heroine is, but without remotely grasping the political and philosophical underpinnings of her work.


The Film Stage by Christopher Schobert

If we spent a little less time on Mary and Percy, and a bit more watching Mary actually create, the result may have been different. Sadly, Mary Shelley is just not alive.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

Mary Shelley is a luscious-looking spectacle, drenched in the colors and visceral sensations of nature, the sensuality of young lovers, the passionate disappointment of loss and betrayal. But above all it is a film about ideas that breaks out of the well-worn mold of period drama (partly, anyway) by reaching deeply into the mind of the extraordinary woman who wrote the Gothic evergreen Frankenstein.


Slant Magazine by Jake Cole

In its final act, the film abandons its fruitful investigation of belief systems in favor of a simplistic articulation of Mary's inspiration.


IndieWire by Kate Erbland

For a film that chronicles the rise of a creator obsessed with reanimating the dead, Mary Shelley is utterly lifeless. It contains a sparkling and startlingly raw performance by Elle Fanning, but Haifaa Al-Mansour’s disappointing followup to her remarkable “Wadjda” doesn’t push beyond paint-by-numbers biopic posturing

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