Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan share tender kiss in first trailer for God’s Own Country director’s new lesbian romance
Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan share a passionate kiss in the first trailer for Ammonite, the new feature film from God’s Own Country director Francis Lee.
Ammonite gives the real-life story of famed palaeontologist Mary Anning a queer twist, with a heartfelt lesbian romance at the centre of the film.
The highly anticipated film is set in the 1840s, with Winslet taking on the role of Anning, a fossil hunter who works on the south coast of England.
In the film, Anning collects fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her sickly mother – but her life is changed irrevocably when a wealthy tourist asks her to care for his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan), who is suffering from “melancholia”.
In the trailer, Charlotte walks into Anning’s shop with her husband.
“My wife, she hasn’t been at all well of late,” her husband explains.
“She suffers from melancholia. I want her to walk the shore line with you. Learn from you.”
The women go on to form a passionate relationship over the course of the film – and the first trailer shows the breathtaking moment they kiss for the first time.
Ammonite is director Francis Lee’s second feature film, following the modern-day queer classic God’s Own Country, which was released to critical acclaim in 2017.
Ammonite will focus on the ‘power of love’ between two women in 1840s England.
Speaking about the film earlier this year, Lee told Entertainment Weekly that it will focus on the “power of love” and “touch”.
“I was incredibly lucky to work with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan,” Lee said.
“They play two women who develop an intense and intimate relationship.
“I was very drawn to that period because of this wonderful research into same-sex female relationships of the period that are all very well-documented with letters to each other, demonstrating wonderful, life-long, passionate, intense, emotional relationships.
“And I was fascinated to set this film in a period that was totally patriarchal and where women were completely owned by their fathers or their husbands, and looking at how they live within that world, and also in a world where, at that time, the medical profession believed that women had no sexual-pleasure organs.
“So, the idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society.”
Lee added that he hopes the film helps audiences realise “the power of love; the power of a deep, intimate, human relationship; the power of touch; and hope”.
So, the idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society.
Ammonite became the subject of controversy last year when Anning’s distant niece Barbara told The Telegraph that there was “no suggestion” that the palaeontologist was a lesbian.
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Responding to the backlash, Lee hit out at efforts to “straighten” queer history.
“Given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another contest?” he wrote on Twitter.
“Particularly a woman whose work and life were subjected to the worst aspects of patriarchy, class discrimination and gender imbalance.
“As a working class, queer film maker, I continually explore the themes of class, gender, sexuality within my work, treating my truthful characters with utter respect and I hope giving them authentic respectful lives and relationships they deserve.”
Ammonite will debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September, with a theatrical release set to follow later this year.