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Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan Go Fossil Hunting in the Trailer for Ammonite

The new drama film from God's Own Country's writer-director Francis Lee has more than a hint of Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Back in 2017, writer-director Francis Lee delivered one of the year's best films with the brilliant but still underseen queer romance God's Own Country, about a man coming to terms with his sexuality amongst the backdrop of a moody Yorkshire landscape.

Now, Francis has nabbed two of the biggest stars in the world – Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan – for his bound-to-be-brilliant follow-up, Ammonite, for which the first trailer debuted today and can be seen below.

The film, loosely based on the life and work of 19th century palaeontologist and fossil hunter Mary Anning (Winslet), finds its story when the reclusive scientist reluctantly agrees to take a depressed young woman (Ronan) on an expedition designed to cure her of her melancholy. It's there, by the sea, that the pair begin to confront their romantic feelings for one another.

Like God's Own Country, Ammonite seems to be embracing a raw and natural aesthetic instead of the more traditionally cloying period dramatics that can make these kinds of films seem stuffy – not so unlike the recent masterpiece Portrait of a Lady on Fire, with which Ammonite's grey-skied, coastal setting feels intimately tied. Gemma Jones, James McArdle, Alec Secareanu, and Fiona Shaw are set to round out of a great cast.

Winslet rarely puts in a dud performance, of course, while Ronan is arguably the greatest actress of her generation. With four Oscar nominations under her belt, one can't help but wonder whether Ammonite could be the film to reward her with a fifth… or her first win.

Ammonite is scheduled for release in late 2020.

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