The actresses star in the forthcoming queer drama as two vastly different women living in 19th century England. Winslet plays real life- paleontologist Mary Anning, a gruff scientist whose sparkling career is on the decline years after her most groundbreaking research gets tucked away in a museum. Her humdrum life is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a rich couple with a strange proposition: Mary taking in the wife Charlotte Murchison (Ronan) as an apprentice.
Mary and Charlotte don’t really have much in common; the fossil hunter spends most of her day by the sea shore digging up whatever she can find, and her depressed new apprentice isn’t too fond of the water. Still, as they work together, a quiet bond develops between the two — first friendship, then passionate love.
“I don’t want to go back to the life I had before you,” Charlotte tells Mary desperately in the trailer, peeks at their secret romance flashing.
“What about my life?” Mary counters.
Written and directed by Francis Lee, Ammonite puts the Hollywood heavyweights under the same sky as an unlikely pair that finds love when they lease expected it. The lesbian romance marks Winslet and Ronan’s first time working together on screen, but Ammonite is far from either of the stars’ first period drama. Winslet’s filmography is glittered with stories of star-crossed lovers throughout history (Titanic, The Reader, Wonder Wheel), and Ronan is building up a resume marked by period pieces (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots, Little Women).
Ammonite was one of the many projects to be impacted by the coronavirus, its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival ultimately postponed because of the global shutdown of film events. While its theatrical release is still pending, the movie will make its debut next month at the Toronto Film Festival.