Following the release of the Ammonite trailer, the energy on Lesbian twitter has been one of exasperation, to say the least.
“I am low key embarrassed for my seaside white lesbian community right now”, said Liza Dye who uploaded a trailer reaction on Instagram calling for an end to the “depressed dykes on a beach” trend.
The hotly anticipated Francis Lee film stars Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan and depicts the life of famed fossil collector and palaeontologist Mary Anning (Winslet).
Set in an English coastal town in the 1840s, the unofficial biopic tells the story of Mary becoming caregiver to Charlotte Murchison, played by Saoirse Ronan, a wealthy woman with poor health.
While their personalities and social rank differ, they embark on an intense love affair that changes the course of their lives.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Francis Lee said he was attracted to the time period of the film because “this wonderful research into same-sex female relationships of the period are all very well documented with letters to each other, demonstrating wonderful, life-long, passionate, intense, emotional relationships.”
He continued: “And I was fascinated to set this film in a period that was totally patriarchal and where women were completely owned by their fathers or their husbands, and looking at how they live within that world, and also in a world where, at that time, the medical profession believed that women had no sexual-pleasure organs. So, the idea of two women actually in a relationship together was just not a thought anybody ever had within society.”
A distant niece of Mary, Barbara Anning, said there “was no suggestion” that her aunt was a lesbian.
Lee said that Ammonite is not an official biopic and that the events are “just inspired by her life”.
“I was incredibly lucky to work with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, and they play two women who develop an intense and intimate relationship,” Lee continued.
The plot and setting are seeming quite familiar to many who have compared it to Portrait of a Lady On Fire, a film made by the same production and distribution company, Neon.
made a venn diagram pic.twitter.com/SS4r9lSh8m
— nicole boyce (@nicolewboyce) August 25, 2020
— zo ✨? / ✊? (@zoha_naser) August 25, 2020
Upon the trailer release, humourist Jill Gutowitz wrote:
“Does every lesbian movie have to be two severely depressed women wearing bonnets and glancing at each other in British accents[?]
“Why is every lesbian movie just a supercut of women’s fingertips grazing near the sea[?]”
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lesbian period piece, but I’m starting to wonder if studios just think lesbians only existed pre-Victorian era.
— Dana Piccoli (@DanaPiccoli) August 25, 2020
In response, some wrote that “depressed women wearing bonnets” is an accurate depiction of lesbian culture.
This is what actual lesbians do though https://t.co/WGRtPfg09f
— lucy roberts (@LucyyyRoberts) August 25, 2020
Lureena Cornwell created her own hilarious interpretation of how every lesbian film seems to go entitled: “Portrait of a lady who like-likes another lady. Starring a delicate white lady, written by Emily Dickinson (a lady).”
Portrait of a lady who like-likes another lady. Starring a delicate white lady, written by Emily Dickinson (a lady) pic.twitter.com/3YJhshYM1l
— Lureena Cornwell (@makesgoodsoup) August 25, 2020
Liza Dye summed up her Ammonite “depressed dykes on a beach” review by saying what is seemingly the general consensus across lesbian Twitter:
“I’ma watch it though…”
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