"Pornographic Arthouse Drama"
What You Need To Know:
AMMONITE has a few touching moments of selfless affection and care. It does a good job depicting a person’s integral need for love and affirmation. However, AMMONITE is extremely slow paced with a shortage of dialogue. The acting is fair, but difficult to evaluate because the dialogue is so severely lacking. Great cinematography captures some beautiful seaside images, but the same cinematography captures pornographic lesbian sex scenes. The movie also contains some foul language and lewd dialogue. AMMONITE is an abhorrent, unacceptable movie.
AMMONITE is a dramatic movie about two broken women, set on a seashore in England, 1840. Mary, an acclaimed paleontologist, is hired by a wealthy man, Roderick, to look after his convalescent wife, Charlotte. The two have a romantic steamy lesbian adulterous love affair before Charlotte returns to live with her husband, Roderick.
Mary Anning is a mostly forgotten, but noted paleontologist. Mary searches for fossils daily along the seashore. The found treasures are brought back to Mary’s shop, where she prepares them for sale, in order to support her ailing and mentally ill mother, Molly. Mary and her mother have a cold, stoic relationship. Mary is closed and anti-social, while Molly shows somewhat bizarre, obsessive-compulsive behavior. The movie reveals much later that Molly’s witnessed eight of her children die in infancy.
Roderick is a scientific admirer of Mary Anning. He pays to shadow Mary at the seashore and learn about paleontology. While there, he notices his wife Charlotte shows an increase in her melancholy. Roderick declares he will leave Charlotte in the seashore town in order that she recover from her melancholy, because he wants his “bright, funny, clever wife back.” Roderick rejects Charlotte’s seeking his affection, and pays Mary to look after his wife while she recovers.
Mary and Charlotte initially make it known they have no interest in spending time together. Mary runs Charlotte off by telling her she doesn’t want her there. Charlotte swims in the cold ocean and soon falls very ill with a fever. Mary nurses her back to health, but falls in love with her while she’s unconscious. Eventually. Charlotte regains her health and feels indebted to Mary for caring for her in such detail.
There’s not much conversation between Mary and Charlotte. However, there are several steely glares by Mary, which are met with a “Bambi” like response from Charlotte. Charlotte finds some meaning in life as she helps Mary care for the home and shop. Together they discover a valuable fossil. In celebration, the two women erupt into a fairly graphic sexual act.
Sexual trysts continue until Charlotte’s husband “orders” Charlotte by letter to return home. The bad news incites a completely graphic and pornographic sexual encounter, before a steely-eyed cold goodbye from Mary, which is met by a teary-eyed Charlotte.
Sometime later, Mary’s mother dies, and Charlotte invites Mary to visit her home in London. While in London, Charlotte reveals she’s been preparing a bedroom for Mary, complete with tailor-made dresses. She invites Mary to live with her and her husband Roderick. Mary is indignant with the proposal, and runs off to the London museum where her work is displayed. Charlotte follows after her in an effort to persuade her to reconsider her offer.
AMMONITE has a few touching moments of honest, selfless affection and care. Mary’s unfailing care for her mother shows a great deal of virtue. Mary needs love. The movie does a good job at depicting a person’s integral need for love and affirmation. Charlotte has no communication with her husband. She doesn’t voice her wants and needs to him. Everything is decided for her, even what she will eat. Charlotte tries to hug her husband, but he abruptly dismisses her, saying it’s “not a good time to make another baby.”
At this point, the movie makes an excellent distinction between sex and affection. Her husband, Roderick, doesn’t comprehend the difference. However, the movie goes off the rails when the exact dysfunctional relationship is replicated between Charlotte and Mary. Only now, it is an extra-marital lesbian affair that Charlotte is somehow now appreciates. Even though the viewer has sympathy for Mary and her backstory, she’s clearly emotionally unavailable. Charlotte seems to put in all the effort. She doesn’t do this with her husband, however. Also, real care and affection on Mary’s part is only shown when Charlotte’s unconscious. Once she recovers, Charlotte follows Mary around and finds some purpose by helping out with chores. Their relationship is cemented with sex. They skip right over the process of communication, validation and affection, and jump into steamy, gratuitous, adulterous, lesbian sex. Charlotte makes every effort to fit into Mary’s life and reach her, but then she changes everything entirely by creating a life for Mary to live in her home, along with her husband. It leads the viewer to wonder if Charlotte once did everything to please her husband at one time, only to change the conditions at a later date.
What the movie fails to acknowledge, of course, is that the highest, ultimate unfailing real love, affirmation and purpose don’t come from nefarious, illicit sexual encounters. Rather, real love and purpose come from our Creator and Lord. As 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God.” At one point, it’s revealed that Mary previously stopped going to church. When we cut ourselves off from real, authentic love, we surely die. Sexual sin is rooted in the consumption of others for self, rather than loving people for their own good. Bodily pleasures are a dead end road when pursued to find meaning in life. Love may contain sex between a married heterosexual couple, but sex alone can’t create real love. AMMONITE gives the impression that sexual gratification liberates Mary and Charlotte. In reality, the sole pursuit of sexual gratification leads people to be enslaved by it. Enough will never be enough. The Church is full of sinners trying to make it in this life, and then accept the gift of a life that lasts forever: Eternal life. Whether the sin be sexual, as in fornication, adultery, or homosexual sin, or sins unrelated to sex, such as pride, we are all in need of the rescue of real love. We are in need of the grace, mercy and love for true liberation that only Jesus can give (John 3:16). Salvation is impossible without God.
AMMONITE has some touching moments, gorgeous seaside scenery, along with excellent cinematography. The acting is fair, but difficult to evaluate because the dialogue is severely lacking. The movie opens in the same slow dull pace that it continues with throughout, where nothing really significant happens. AMMONITE contains a few curse words, some lewd discussion, homosexual content, an adulterous and pre-marital affair, and extremely graphic gratuitous lesbian sex. The bursts of carnal passion come across as a writer’s pornographic fantasy rather than a part of anyone’s character. AMMONITE is an abhorrent, unacceptable movie, with a negative portrayal of biblical marriage.
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