Tuesday, February 04, 2020

That Rocks

Looks like we’re gonna see Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan’s Victorian-era fossil hunting lesbian love story (wow, say that three times fast) in the relatively near future. U.S. indie distributor Neon has picked up the period piece, about real-life paleontologist/fossil hunter Mary Anning and a young woman she meets (played by Saoirse) along the English seaside.

According to Deadline, the film is:

“...set in 1800s England, as acclaimed but unrecognized fossil hunter Mary Anning (Winslet) works alone on the rugged Southern coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy visitor entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte (Ronan), she cannot afford to turn his offer down. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, Mary initially clashes with her unwelcome guest, but despite the distance between their social class and personalities, an intense bond begins to develop, compelling the two women to determine the true nature of their relationship.”
According to my eyes, the “nature of their relationship” involved the time-tested lesbian stockphoto tradition of touching foreheads lovingly. And, hopefully, smoochies. So many smoochies.

Now, I know - this is another May-December (or at very least May-late October) lesbian relationship movie. But, hey, it worked for “Carol.”

But it’s not the 19-year age difference between between the actresses that has raised some eyebrows as much as the protestations of a distant relatives of Anning’s that she was totally not The Gay. What we do know is she was born the daughter of a poor cabinetmaker and did not receive much of a formal education or credit - at least at the time - for her contributions to the field of paleontology and the ancient sea monsters she unearthed. She never married and never had children, dying at the age of 47.



Director Francis Lee has defended his interpretation of her life in the film saying, in part:
“After seeing queer history be routinely ‘straightened’ throughout culture, and given a historical figure where there is no evidence whatsoever of a heterosexual relationship, is it not permissible to view that person within another context?...Would these newspaper writers have felt the need to whip up uninformed quotes from self-proclaimed experts if the character’s sexuality had been assumed to be heterosexual?”
I mean, good points. The thing about history is is matters who gets to tell it, it matters so much. I have no idea if Mary Anning was queer or not, but it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to imagine that she was.

So I can’t wait to see “Ammonite,” which appears to be headed for an award season release by Neon. It’s the same film company behind last year’s sumptuous lesbian love story “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” So, if it’s anywhere near that quality I’d say we’re in for a treat. And Kate’ butch Victorian look is quite something. Maybe her and Gentleman Jack can become poker buddies, is all I’m saying.


1 comment:

Carmen SanDiego said...

Really enjoying Kate’s butch Victorian look but I wish they would make contemporary lesbian movies. Or at least not so far history, like the 70s