Ammonite; Grade: C+
Ammonite takes place in 1840’s England, featuring a lone woman named Mary (Kate Winslet) whom works as a Fossil hunter and has her own antique shop. One day a gentleman named Roderick (James McArdle) and his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) stop by Mary’s shop, as the gentleman wants to explore Mary’s fossil hunting process. After they spent a day together, the gentleman asked Mary while he leaves the scenery, that he watches over Charlotte to help her over come her troubles. Charlotte hasn’t been herself in quite sometime, due to complications with child and complications within her marriage. Witness a beloved friendship between Mary and Charlotte develop right before our eyes, while also that friendship is then developed to forbidden love.
The Cinematography was solid, lovely shots of the ocean side, great attention to detail regarding the muddy land in which Mary discovers her beloved fossils from. The Score was fine but forgettable, as it really didn’t provide much of a factor to this film at all. The cast all in all was solid as a whole, though some assume this be a Oscar nominated year for some, turns out not so much. Kate Winslet playing Mary played a solid performance. Mary as a character was fine as written, as she’s a hard working independent individual that doesn’t seem to care much for human beings and such. I think the strongest aspect regarding this character is how she’s really true to her independence, as it shows in the grand finale. Where it would’ve played off as a typical cliche considering Mary has recently lost a loved one, Mary instead doesn’t go forward with leaving her life behind and starting a new one, as she’s not only passionate about her work but enjoys her life at home and doesn’t feel the need to leave it all behind just because of a significant other. Charlotte played by Saoirse Ronan had a solid performance as well, as both Ronan and Winslet had solid chemistry together. Charlotte as a character was well written as you understand the impact Mary has done to her livelihood as to why she finds herself romantically interested in her. Within her marriage she felt a great amount of lost within herself and her marriage, as she could never seem to get back to normal. But from the slightest care provided by Mary as it’s developed slowly, Charlotte regains her confidence, self esteem, and finds joy out of life once again all because of Mary.
I was hoping to see Ammonite in theaters, but unfortunately was many many miles away from the closet theater as I didn’t get a chance to see it. I rented Ammonite off ITunes, where it was discounted to a affordable $10 rental fee instead of a $20 fee. Ammonite t’was... Fine.
The story at hand t’was fine, as it follows the same beats as any other films like this of it’s genre and subject matter. Other than the finale... It really doesn’t do anything particularly different compared to other films like this, which is why the predictably of this film was ever so common as you know exactly where everything is going. Ammonite also has pacing issues, where it’s honestly very slow and even not much interest is made, as you find yourself rather bored in moments. I also don’t quite understand why Charlotte’s husband leaves Charlotte with Mary in the first place. Mary is a Fossil Hunter and helps her mother with knickknacks, how exactly is she going to help Charlotte with her problems?!
Still how this film is structured, it’s still an acceptable watch where the storyline is developing a romance right before our eyes, where it benefits both parties. Mary regarding her loneliness and not being open to share her emotions with other people, as well as Charlotte regarding being lifeless and lost, as Mary helped her find herself again while feeling alive. The finale isn’t extraordinary, but appreciated the fact it played off differently than one may have expected it to turn out.
Overall, Ammonite t’was a perfectly fine film. I recommend checking this one out, do so as a regular RedBox rental or stream it on a streaming platform when it comes available, not worth the $10 fee. -Mitch Smietana