Aptly described as an art-house film, Ammonite may shock discerning audiences owing to the extremely graphic sexual content which literally borders on soft porn.

The story centers on Mary (Kate Winslet), a reputable paleontologist who sells sea creature relics to tourists in a seaside town. She takes Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) under her wings, a sickly young married woman who has recently experienced a tragedy.

A friendship develops which ultimately leads to a forbidden sexual relationship.

This film is set in mid-19th Century England, during an era unofficially known as the ‘age of innocence’ when elegance, manners, and virtue ruled middle to high-class society. However, the innocence of that age dissipates in this film, as full-frontal nudity, and gratuitous, ultra-steamy lesbian sex scenes ‘grace’ the screen.

Not for prudish audiences, but the question needs to be asked – must the sex scenes be so graphic? Would it not be more romantic with these scenes toned down?

Written and directed by Francis Lee, this is a stylish, seductive, high-quality production which may be laborious viewing for mainstream moviegoers owing to the slow-moving style of storytelling. (MMo)

★★★

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