Well, the dust has finally settled. I’m confident that enough time has passed and I can finally talk about Ammonite.
My previous article, “Period Piece, Ammonite, Graces the Silver Screen”, discusses all of the details and logistics of the film and the actresses, but I felt the need to share my thoughts because this film has taken so much flak within the LGBT community.
A major criticism that has been circulating amongst the masses is that this film is too slow. I wholeheartedly disagree. While I can agree that this is more of a slow-burn, I never found myself getting distracted from the screen. In my opinion, the sequences of events and the timeframe in which they occurred made for an intimate build of tension between Mary and Charlotte.
Another debate spreading across the grapevine focuses on how Charlotte was bedridden for a majority of the movie; while she did catch a fever from a “bath” in the frigid sea, she was on bedrest for less than a quarter of the film. In this time, we see Mary’s softer, nurturing side as she cares for Charlotte and single-handily nurses her back to health. I believe this was a pivotal point in the story as we see Mary and Charlotte’s friendship, and in turn, chemistry begin to build.
While I didn’t hear much chatter about the sex scenes in the film, I feel the need to address this. I’ve read that Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan more or less orchestrated and directed these scenes on their own. I also heard that Winslet changed the date of filming the sex scenes so that they would fall on Ronan’s birthday… Talk about a happy birthday! I have to go on the record to state that in all the LGBT movies I’ve seen as of late, the ones that received all of that critical acclaim; Blue is the Warmest Color, The Handmaiden, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, the sex scenes in this film seemed the most realistic and intimate. I could tell that although a man directed the film, a man certainly did not direct the sex scenes. Winslet and Ronan did the perfect job making these scenes sensual, artistic and believable. I also thoroughly appreciated how not just in the sex scenes, but throughout the film, the sounds of the sea were very prevalent. For me, this made the film much rawer and more natural.
The ending is another topic that was not at the forefront of a lot of articles/reviews that I stumbled upon. I appreciated that the conclusion of the film did not have one of the characters succumbing to death or heterosexuality. While the ending was ambiguous in nature, leaving the fate of Mary and Charlotte up to the audience essentially, we were left with the hope of a happy ending.
Ammonite can be streamed on Amazon and YouTube
The link to my previous Ammonite article can be found below.