Ammonite: LFF Film Review

Ammonite

Ammonite received rave reviews following its premiere in Toronto so I had seriously high expectations for it – but I must admit I was underwhelmed by the whole thing.

Francis Lee‘s second feature stars Kate Winslet as Mary Anning, the real-life self-taught palaeontologist and fossil collector who lived in Lyme Regis in Dorset, England. The story is set in the 1840s when her days of famous discoveries are over and she sells the fossils she collects in a shop to get by. Geologist Roderick Murchison (James McArdle), a big fan, visits the area with his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) and pays Mary to let him join her on her coastal explorations. When he is called away, he asks Mary to look after Charlotte, who is grieving from a personal tragedy, and romance blossoms between the two very different women.

It goes without saying that the performances in Ammonite are amazing. Winslet and Ronan have multiple Oscar nominations (and a win for Winslet) to prove their talent so I assumed they would turn in impressive performances and they certainly didn’t disappoint. And it should also be noted that Fiona Shaw stands out Mary’s ex Elizabeth Philpot.

However, I didn’t buy their attraction or love for one another. Sure, the explicit sex scenes are passionate, but there is little passion elsewhere. I didn’t believe in their story and I wasn’t invested in it. I had no emotional connection to it and so it never moved me, which is clearly what the film is hoping to achieve. And that’s not the actresses’ fault – the story and the writing is weak and doesn’t earn this romance or make it convincing. Also, the film is very slow, felt longer than it was, it’s rather quiet as neither of them are particularly talkative, and also very dim as it’s trying to look candlelit.

My biggest issue with the story will be no surprise as it has already caused controversy already – why take a remarkable historical figure and make her the subject of a fictional lesbian romance? I didn’t know anything about Anning before Ammonite so I’m glad it brought her to my attention but I actually would have preferred to learn more about her, her discoveries, and contributions to science and palaeontology in a standard biopic than watch these imagined romance plot. It doesn’t go into much detail about her work and totally glosses over the work of Murchison and Philpot. Lee should have created a fictional character inspired by Anning. This route makes no sense to me.

I had high expectations from Lee because of his work on the powerful and moving God’s Own Country but sadly, Ammonite just didn’t do anything for me, despite its terrific lead performances.

Seen as part of the London Film Festival. No general release date as yet.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Blackbird: Film Review

Blackbird

With a star-studded ensemble cast led by Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet, Sam Neill, and Mia Wasikowska, I simply couldn’t resist checking out Blackbird, but I have to admit I came away disappointed.

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Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

We were at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards at London’s May Fair Hotel tonight and stars including Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Florence Pugh, and Hugh Grant hit the red carpet. See my pics inside!

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Top Films for October 2017

You know what time it is! Movie preview time! Here’s where I list what I want to see/recommend people check out each month.

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The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Film Review

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The issue with the Divergent franchise is that it has always been far too similar, and not as good as, The Hunger Games, which also suffered a slump in its third movie because the final book was unnecessarily split into two films – an obvious money-spinning ploy which negatively impacts the momentum and energy of the movies. The Divergent series has never been amazing, but Allegiant is a new low that won’t even please fans of the novel.

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Oscars 2016: Best & Worst Dressed

margot crop

We have finally reached the end of the film awards season! It felt like we would never get there but yes, the Oscars, the pinnacle of everything, happened Sunday night. Sure, the prizes are a good talking point but this is ALL about the fashion. This is the biggie – the event everyone saves their best for, and there were some damn good outfits on display.

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BAFTAs 2016: Gossip & Picture Gallery

Alejandro & Leo

Alejandro & Leo

Last night I had the absolute privilege to report from the 2016 BAFTAs. This is such a big deal to me  – I’ve watched the ceremony for years, been down there as a fan three times and only stopped that because I had to report on the broadcast from home. And this year I was there myself working surrounded by celebs and people who love film, and I was not going to waste this big opportunity. Read inside for all the info:

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Kate Winslet & Maisie Williams at the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards

Kate & Kenneth

Kate & Kenneth

Last night I went to down to the Mayfair Hotel in London to cover the London Critics’ Circle Film Awards and I must admit I was slightly disappointed with the line-up simply because I was expecting one of The Revenant cast to be there, or at least a few more global stars.

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Golden Globes 2016: Best & Worst Dressed

yes crop

Now I love me some fashion, and after a sad day like today I need to distract myself by looking through the red carpet outfits from the 2016 Golden Globes Sunday night.

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Steve Jobs: Film Review

I think I am in the minority when I say I don’t see Steve Jobs as some sort of tech God. Yes, I can acknowledge everything he has done for the industry and how he helped revolutionise it, but as someone who doesn’t buy Apple products or read about tech, I was very unaware of his whole story. I have never seen a Steve Jobs biopic until now, so I probably found this way more interesting than tech nerds who know everything about him already.

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