Following on from the critical success of his groundbreaking debut God’s Own Country, writer and director Francis Lee revisits the theme of repressed homosexual romance with his semi-biographical drama Ammonite. Set on the blustery shores of Lyme Regis in the 1840s, the plot is loosely inspired by palaeontologist Mary Anning. On his European tour, a wealthy fossil enthusiast arrives in town to visit Mary (Kate Winslet) to discuss her geological findings. His young wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) is suffering from severe melancholia and he decides that the sea air will aid her recovery, so he carries on without her, leaving her in Mary’s care. Despite their stark financial and cultural differences, the pair strike up an endearing friendship, leading to a forbidden love that would impact upon their lives forever.Continue reading “DVD review: Ammonite”
Since Louisa May Alcott’s seminal coming-of-age novel Little Women was published in 1868, there have been countless adaptations of the material. The latest version is written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, who has recently transitioned from indie actress to award-nominated filmmaker. The plot follows the struggles of the March family during the American Civil War as four sisters near the end of childhood; Jo (Saoirse Ronan) is a budding writer, Meg (Emma Watson) has traditional aspirations, Amy (Florence Pugh) longs for a taste of the finer things in life, while Beth (Eliza Scanlen) is a highly talented pianist but is reluctant to share her music. Together and apart, we see the women contend with love, death, and marriage as they fight for independence in a society dominated by men.Continue reading “DVD review: Little Women”
Theatre director Josie Rourke makes the transition from stage to screen with her feature film debut Mary Queen of Scots. Based on historian John Guy’s novel, the period drama chronicles the 1569 conflict between Scotland and England. When Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) returns widowed to her native land at the age of eighteen, she and her Catholic nobles attempt to depose her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) from her throne.
Based on Ian McEwan’s Booker Prize-nominated novella of the same name, romantic drama On Chesil Beach is the directorial debut of Dominic Cooke. The plot centres around newlyweds Florence Ponting (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward Mayhew (Billy Howle) as they arrive at their idyllic honeymoon suite by the sea. As simmering societal pressures come to the forefront on the wedding night, are they doomed to fail, or will they live happily ever after?
As an actress, Greta Gerwig is known for her quirky roles in indie movies, rising through the improvisational mumblecore movement and riding the crest of the hipster wave for the flat-white generation. Having co-written on several projects that she has appeared in, she has moved behind the camera to write and direct Lady Bird, a coming-of-age comedy drama set in Sacramento, California. The plot follows attention-seeking teenager Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) who is in her final year of high-school. Whilst clashing with her strong-willed mother Marion (Laurie Metcalf), she navigates her way through the trials and tribulations of bad boyfriends, prom pressure, and deciding what she wants to do with the rest of her life.