Ammonite: Cast And Synopsis For Francis Lee’s Latest


by Ben Travis |
Published on

In 2017, filmmaker Francis Lee announced himself as a vital voice in British cinema with his brilliant drama God’s Own Country – well worth adding to your Netflix watchlist if it passed you by. Now he’s preparing to return with Ammonite, his follow-up film set in the world of Victorian-era palaeontology, and starring none other than Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.

The film’s official synopsis is as follows: “In 1800s England, acclaimed but unrecognised fossil hunter Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) 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 (Saoirse Ronan), 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.”

Elsewhere, the cast for this one includes Killing Eve and Harry Potter’s Fiona Shaw, Mary Queen Of Scots’ James McArdle, and Gemma Jones and Alec Secareanu, who both starred in God’s Own Country. Lee largely shot the film in Anning’s hometown of Lyme Regis, Dorset, as well as Surrey and London.

“I first came across Mary Anning when I was looking for a fossil for my boyfriend,” Lee says of his inspiration for Ammonite. “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 […] 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.”

Stay tuned for more updates soon on what’s sure to be one of the most highly anticipated British films of the year.

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