(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

AMMONITE: In this biopic, the early paleontologist Mary Anning is portrayed as rude and hostile, and not at all a perfect person. This may be accurate, but it may not be, just as the nature of her relationship with Charlotte Murchison is a matter of speculation rather than of fact. (For example, in the movie, Roderick Murchison is trying to get his wife interested in his work; in real life, *she* drew him into geology and paleontology, and was a respected scientist in her own right. Elizabeth Philpot [played] by Fiona Shaw] was also a geologist and got Mary Anning started as a child in the field.) The whole movie is in a stilted style, and the plot is carried by facial expressions, which is good, because at times the accents make the dialogue (sparse at best) hard to understand. Released 11/13/20; not yet available on streaming or DVD. Rating; high 0 (-4 to +4) [-mrl]

[Towards the end, there's a great shot of Anning standing in front of a portrait in the British Museum that is hanging on a wall of many portraits, all of famous men. Her head perfectly obscures and replaces the head in the portrait, so it is almost as if it is a portrait of her hanging among the famous people, but all the viewer sees is the back of her bonnet--she is anonymous. -ecl]

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2021 Mark R. Leeper