In 1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked palaeontology pioneer Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) works alone on the rugged and brutal Southern English coastline. With the days of her famed discoveries behind her, she now searches for common fossils to sell to tourists to support herself and her ailing mother. When a wealthy tourist, Roderick Murchison, arrives on the first leg of a European tour he entrusts Mary with the care of his wife Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), who is recuperating from a personal tragedy.
Mary, whose life is a daily struggle on the poverty line, cannot afford to turn him down. Proud and relentlessly passionate about her work, Mary initially clashes with her unwelcome guest. Yet, despite the distance between their social class and personalities, an intense bond begins to develop, compelling the two women to determine the true nature of their relationship, altering the course of both lives irrevocably.
An absorbing drama filled with 19th Century yearning, Ammonite is Francis Lee’s second film after his impressive multi-award winning debut God’s Own Country (2017).