Ammonite movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This romantic drama loosely based on history is sexually graphic, but also poorly presents the story in a boring fashion. Ammonite’s only points go to stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, as well as the fine shots and themes.


In 1840s England Mary Anning, an acclaimed fossil hunter, is forced to care for a rich visitor’s sick wife. The two begin to develop an intense bond that pushes the two women to re-examine their relationship.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Francis Lee
Cast: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Jones, James McArdle, Alec Secăreanu, Fiona Shaw
Writer: Francis Lee
Release Date (Australia): 14 January 2021
Runtime: 120 minutes/2h
Genre: Romance, Drama, History
Country: UK, Australia
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (PG)

The film features a taboo homosexual relationship and references to infant mortality.

Coarse Language (M)

The film contains infrequent coarse language, including two uses of “f**k” and one use of “s**t”.

Nudity (MA15+)

The film contains a brief depiction of full frontal male nudity, as well as sexualised depictions of women’s breasts and pubic hair.

Sex (MA15+)

The film features two lengthy and explicit scenes in which women engage in sexual activity and perform oral sex on each other.

mpaa rating

R (for graphic sexuality, some graphic nudity and brief language)

Aussie boy's thoughts

To actually be classed a history-biopic movie, the period of Mary Anning’s life is depicted extremely inaccurately and the majority of the quiet sequences are so empty of dialogue and boring. Remember, Ammonite is only loosely based on a true story, with the lead characters being real people but a lot of the facts being muddled up and reformed.

Francis Lee may certainly know how to direct and portray the story’s setting in the time. Every visual, verbal and written detail is old-fashioned, as it should be. There’s old clothing, fancy writing in ink and the main actresses speak like people from England in the 1800s. His best work all belongs to his shooting of the beach areas, the characters and fossils in a cold-poverty kind of tone.

Despite Francis’ excellent direction, he’s also the one who wrote the story. In real life, Mary Anning did not share a lesbian relationship with Charlotte Murchison and that takes away from depicting her work with fossils and rocks. Accurate storytelling should come before explicit sex. Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are clearly talented actresses, but their potential is wasted on many prolonged sequences in which they don’t talk or do anything.

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