I came back with another review on lesbian romance. The most recent film shot in this famous canon is Ammonite, written and directed by Francis Lee. Ammonite stars include Kate Winslet as Mary Enning, the famous British palaeontologist, and Sawyers Ronan as Charlotte Murchison, the British geologist and longtime lover of Enning. Ammonite is a great sensual love story that leaves the viewer with hope, not despair, and leaves any debate about the facts of real people aside.

If God hates homosexuals, why do we keep winning?

My readers, friends and old admirers must have noticed a few months ago that I was excited about this film. I was passionately involved with Winslet and Ronan for many years, and Lee seemed able to write and immediately after his success in God’s land. I’m always afraid of men who tell juicy love stories, but after seeing him I have to praise his performance. Ammonite is intimate, it is not graphic, and the love story, it seems, develops in a natural and beautiful way in front of the viewer’s eye.

The basic principle is that Mary, who sells fossils to Lyme Regis, is paid by Roderick Murchison (James McArdle) to accompany his wife Charlotte on her travels. While Maria and Charlotte dig for fossils and get to know each other, they fall in love. It is a relatively standardized passage from an old drama, somewhat reminiscent of the portrait of a woman on fire. The story may sound familiar, but Lee makes excellent use of it to really get to know the characters and bring out the essence of their complexity. Ronan and Winslet are individually remarkable, and their alchemy has reached new heights since their encounter. Everywhere in Ammonita there was real betting and real love between Maria and Charlotte, which was beautifully expressed.

Neon

Sapphiki by sea

Lee does his best to create a good atmosphere, and I often felt almost overwhelmed by what I felt there. The film has an interesting connection to its music, which I’ll talk about later, but Lee’s decision to focus on the sounds of the beach, Mary and Charlotte’s breath, fossil carvings, cobbled boots and even handicrafts, really brings the viewer into this world. Not to mention the stunning visual effects of filmmaker Stephan Fonten, who also threw him out of the park in a short film from 2016, Jackie. All this, of course, is also a tribute to the various artistic leaders, costume designers and sound engineers who, I hope, will be honoured this prize season for their intense and sensual staging.

As I said before, the film and Charlotte have an interesting relationship with the music, which makes any kind of soundtrack very economical. There are no more than half a dozen scenes with music, and at least two of them have music just because they are on a diet. Although I think it’s a conscious choice to focus on the environment and the very natural and organic relationship that develops between Maria and Charlotte, it also plays another role. Charlotte, played by Ronan, is surprisingly beautiful and charming, but deeply depressed and somewhat delayed in her life. It was only when she fell in love with Maria that she began to express herself through music, playing the harpsichord and enjoying the concert with Dr. Lieberson (Alec Secăreanu). Only then, as in the soundtrack, any instrument can be used.

I don’t pretend to be an expert on glasses or music in general, except to devote myself to Swifty, but I think Lee’s decision to minimize the music really reinforces the superficial breath of consciousness, the pencil scratches and rustling of the skirts that all tell the story of these two women who have fallen in love.

Oscar-winning Sawyers Ronan?

Ronan and Winslet are completely dynamic together. Although I’m paying for the choice to cast two actresses (of public fame) directly in the role of Saphiki, I think the two protagonists are doing an excellent job. Winslet is a cold but interesting image of Anning with her excellent work on accent and eternal frowning. It contrasts with Ronan’s naivety and openness, albeit melancholy, Charlotte. It is difficult to put one forward as a special advantage, because it requires both. I must pay tribute to Ronan’s impeccable British accent, and she remains one of the most dynamic actresses on screen today.

I can’t help mention the absolutely unbelievable sex scene at the end of the film, where Kate Winslet Sauers has Ronan on her face. I’m gonna give my classmates some sapphires for a minute. You did good! I know what you’re thinking: Anna, you said it wasn’t graphic! And, frankly, it’s not! It’s an amazing scene in which the love these two characters share manifests itself in a beautifully choreographed sex scene. Even though many viewers see it, it is delicious, but original, beautiful, but raw, and loving, but intense. It’s probably the best sex scene I’ve seen on my screen this year, and yes, of course, I think normal people. I must pay tribute to Lee, Winslet and Ronan for the intimacy and beauty of this scene and the film as a whole.

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Can this be enough?

In the last scene of the film, after Charlotte asked Mary if she wanted to live with her, they are both seen in a dead-end street in the British Museum, where they are looking at the first fossil Mary discovered. Mary is tense and a little upset because she doesn’t want to be caged. But viewers can only wonder whether they are afraid of Mary’s cells or whether they are in Charlotte’s power. Although it is not a happy ending, it is certainly more encouraging than the end of other films about the same disease. These two women have a chance to be in each other’s lives forever, even if it’s not the way they deserve it. It’s a complete victory at the end of Portrait. But is that enough?

When the ammonite announcement was made, twitterers everywhere asked why sapphires could not leave the candlelight. Why do all our love stories happen in the past? Why are hate crimes committed in all modern cases? Can’t we lose our joy altogether? Are sapphires made to have passionate love relationships with friends, colleagues or roommates without going out?

I loved that movie. I’m gonna go look at him again. I hope we keep opening the doors to all kinds of whimsical love stories. But it doesn’t always have to be conspiracy and conflict and all that. Sometimes strangers, and especially sapphires, have a pretty pleasant life without these terrible circumstances, and their love life is not the most interesting thing about them. I hope that with the success of films like Ammonite further progress will be made and that we will see a great achievement in all genres, not only in period novels. I like the vintage dress, but the gays are still alive.

Follow Twitter @MovieBabble_ and Anna @iamthecampion

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