THEATRICAL REVIEW: Ammonite’s leads spark a beautiful flame, but screenplay fizzles

Ammonite director Francis Lee created a touching, poignant portrait of gay romance in the Irish indie God’s Own Country.

It was a beautiful endeavour of a film, and one of the most honest about the subject in a long time. And so, it pains me to say that his LGBTQ+ female-led Hollywood glamourized Ammonite has twice the talent, with half the subtlety and grace.

Don’t get me wrong, the story of fossil hunter. Mary and her deep relationship with young, married Charlotte is beautiful, both in cinematography and the chemistry between leads. But it’s missing the heart and fervour that made God’s Own a classic.

Ammonite pairs Kate Winslet with Saoirse Ronan, who give two fantastic, Oscar-calibre performances, but most of the run-time, they feel like a surrogate mother-daughter duo. The romance is strained and feels strange, even when undertaken by those two strong, female heavyweight thespians.

They are fantastic, but one can recall a better film on female romantic relationships as early as last year, when Portrait Of A Lady On Fire was released. Ammonite is never a bad film, but it is a disappointing one.

The two actresses give a showcase, and it’s an interesting story, but it feels more like Oscar bait than anything that will ever really hit close to home.

If you’re wishing for new, queer content, Ammonite may satisfy. But for the discerning viewer, you’ll only be reminded of all the times this story has been told better.

3/5 Stars

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