Tom George directs SEE HOW THEY RUN starring Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and Adrien Brody! See some of the brand-new Trailer, in addition to some stills released recently from the Film.
In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
Searchlight Pictures release SEE HOW THEY RUN in theatres September 30, 2022.
Following the critical acclaim of 2017’s GOD’S OWN COUNTRY, Francis Lee returns with AMMONITE which came out of TIFF ’20 with a deafening amount of buzz. The Drama written and directed by Lee, stars Kate Winslet as reputed British Paleontologist Mary Anning. Having made several famous discoveries hunting fossils in her career, wealthy tourist Roderick Murchison (James McArdle) finds Anning and tasks her with taking his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) under her wing. She accepts reluctantly out of financial need. While the two women have very little in common coming from entirely different worlds, they realize they might just be what the other has been missing.
We had the pleasure of chatting virtually with Lee about AMMONITE, which sees its release now theatrically, as we enter Awards Season.
Lee was drawn to story of Mary Anning in that he sees many parallels between her and him.
Lee: “The thing that struck me was discovering Mary Anning is that here was this working class woman born into a life of poverty with little or no education, in a deeply-patriarchal and class-ridden society. And through her own ingenuity, courage, strength and will to survive, she became one of the leading Paleontologists of her generation. There were just some parallels there to my own life. I’m not saying I’m as brilliant as Mary Anning was at all, but I grew-up working class in very rural Northern Britain and I didn’t have a great education. I always knew from quite an early age I would’ve loved to write, direct or do both couldn’t see how I could get into such a rarified profession. I couldn’t afford film school or know anyone like me who did what I wanted to do. So there were just some subtle parallels there.”.
There’s been a good bit of controversy surrounding AMMONITE. Anning‘s family even has refuted the idea that she ever had been in a relationship with a woman, calling Lee‘s re-imagination of her, “pure Hollywood”. Lee comments about his decision to portray her in a same-sex relationship.
Lee: “I’m very obsessed with intimate human relationships and I like to explore them because I’m still figuring out how to manage them myself. I wanted to bring a relationship into this world of her’s. I wanted to respect and elevate her in a way that hadn’t happened when she was alive because all these men who came to buy her fossils re-appropriated her work for themselves. In this time, men owned women and giving her a relationship with a man wouldn’t feel equal. And of course there never was any evidence that Mary had a relationship with a man, but there was evidence she had friendships with women. So I felt giving her a relationship with a woman felt so much more respectful and equal in that sense.”.
We ask Lee about the importance of “unstraightening Queer History” which is something explored both in GOD’S OWN COUNTRY and AMMONITE.
Lee: “What’s so fascinating about this debate that’s seemed to have happened, which I didn’t quite realize would be such a big debate. It made me look at history, who records it and how they record history. And it led me down the path to think that history is subjective. It is created. It isn’t a science in a sense. It was really interesting to see where there is absolutely no concrete evidence of a same-sex relationship, historians presume heterosexuality when we know people could be gay, lesbian, asexual or bisexual. The lack of investigation or thought of thinking through what an individual or historical figure could have been or experienced I found really fascinating.”.
“What was interesting about AMMONITE is that there was no evidence that Mary ever had a relationship with a man, there was evidence of her having friendships with women. And there are a couple of historical fiction novels about Mary Anning and in one of them, it does suggest she had a relationship with a man and nobody complained. And it did make me really think where we are at in society where we need absolute concrete proof for anything that is not considered to be hetero-normative. I just felt to myself whether it’s about my character’s working class or how they identify with their sexuality, these characters have had their voices taken away from them and we haven’t heard from them.”.
“Queer Histories haven’t been recorded because a lot of the time it’s been hidden, illegal, with big consequences if you identified with the LGBTQ community. Often people from the community don’t have children, so their stories aren’t passed-on generationally. So for me it feels like if I can give voices to people or situations that have been overlooked or neglected, then I’m very happy to do that.”.
We ask about Winslet and Ronan becoming involved the with project.
Lee: “It’s quite a boring story, Will. I thought about who I’d like to be in it. First of all, Kate was top of my list because regardless of what she has been in, there’s always been such a truth and honesty to her performances. She felt like a very natural choice for me. Her agent read the Script and sent it to Kate the same day and said, ‘You have to read this because if you don’t say yes, somebody will take it immediately.’. So Kate came back the next day and said she’d like to do it. Pretty much the same thing happened with Saoirse. She got the Script, read it and rang me up to say she’d like to do it! (laughs) I wish it was more about I was in the supermarket and I bumped into somebody and their wife’s brother’s husband once cleaned for Kate Winslet and sent it to her but it wasn’t like that!”.
“The lovely thing is that this is only my second film. The first movie I did was made for no money whatsoever and not-so-famous actors. Nobody really cared about it when I was making it. What was lovely about this film was getting access to actors who not only are at the top of their game but also are very, very established and famous. And the way in which they wholeheartedly jumped on-board with me and wanted to work with me in a way in which I like to work.”.
Lee elaborates more on how working with Kate Winslet actually got weird.
Lee: “What was brilliant about working with Kate is that we like to work in a similar way. It’s very, very much about research and character building. I worked with Kate four or five months before the shoot one-on-one and we really built this character from scratch from the moment she’s born to the moment we first see her in the Film. We worked through every detail and knew every detail about the Mary we were creating. Kate has a real ability and not every actor does, to really transform herself into being somebody else.”.
“So when we were shooting, I wouldn’t recognize one part of the Kate that I knew in that character. She’s very demonstrative, she’s very physical and she talks with her hands. She’s very open emotionally. One of the things we worked so hard on was stillness, silence and internalized emotion and playing everything with looks, gestures and subtleties. I remember finishing the Film and I hadn’t seen Kate for quite some time because I was in the edits and she was away working. I couldn’t look her in the eye, I couldn’t speak to her because I didn’t know who she was, because of who I’d been looking at for the last eight or nine months was not this person. And I was quite shy. It was difficult to switch from Kate‘s performance as Mary to Kate as a human being. It took me a while to adjust.”.
“The way I see Kate now is in Mary Anning, which is so different from who Kate is. It’s kind of a bit weird. Once on-set, there was a scene she wasn’t in and I was working. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone walking around and looking around. I’m quite private and aware, so I turned to the First Assistant Director and asked ‘Who the fuck is that?’. And he said ‘It’s Kate!’. I literally didn’t recognize her because the only time I’d see her is her as Mary Anning.”.
Following-up on two very well-received films can be a daunting task. We ask Lee what’s next.
Lee: “I am writing and finding writing much slower than normal because of COVID, because I find my focus is a bit allover the place. It’s a bit worrying but I’m getting through it. I can tell you that it is a Horror film exploring the same themes I always obsess about – deep human relationships, landscape and loneliness but hopefully with some hope.”.
Elevation Pictures release AMMONITE, now playing in theatres. It will be available on Premium Digital and On-Demand December 4, 2020.
At just age 26, Saoirse Ronan has managed to become one of the top Actors of her generation. She got nominated for her first Academy Award at the age of 13 for her work in Atonement. Since then, she’s been nominated three more times.
Her talent is undeniable as seen through the unforgettable mix of characters she’s brought to life on-screen over multiple genres, such as survivor Hanna, homesick Eilis, uninhibited Lady Bird, and Writer Jo Marsh.
Her latest role has her starring as a grieving Charlotte in Francis Lee’sAmmonite. It follows Palaeontologist Mary Anning, played by Kate Winslet, who cares for Charlotte while her husband leaves for work. The two build an undeniable bond and fall in love.
Today, she joined Canadian Novelist Anne T. Donahue for TIFF’s In Conversation With… Saoirse Ronan.
On where home is to Ronan:
“It’s less of a physical location for me. I think that’s always been the case. I have tried to find it in a place or country, but now I’m older and I realize there are a few core people. That is my home.”.
On becoming an Actor:
“When we moved out to Ireland my dad was working on a film and they needed someone and I was added into it. I didn’t really want to do it. I was a quiet kid. It was this weird Art House film where I was half-human and half-clown. *laughs* And I said, ‘No, that sounds terrible. I don’t want to do that.’ But he wanted me to. So I did it. I was 6, 7, or 8. From the moment I got on set I really loved it. I really liked the discipline matched with the play aspect.”.
On when she knew she wanted to be an Actor:
“It wasn’t until I was 12. It was when I was doing Atonement. I loved that. And I knew that that’s what I wanted to do.”.
“I was a wreck. An absolute wreck. I was 20, so hormones were all over the place. I moved to London at that time. I did Brooklyn in the middle of that transition. And I went back to where I grew-up. I hadn’t been there in years. It represented a past time in my life that I will always be connected too, but was moving past. I think what made it overwhelming was that it was a severe meeting of two worlds. My home life, where I went to school and wasn’t an Actor. And this new stage in my career which was me starting to lead as a woman, and it was an Irish woman. I was just thinking, ‘I have to get this right.’ I was completely terrified. I never felt aware of the camera in a negative way or ever felt that it had paralyzed me. But I was feeling like that a lot in Brooklyn. But it ended up being such a special film for me to do. That Film gets to me in a way that nothing else I have done has. It was an honour to tell that story.”.
On Lady Bird:
“It’s not about her [Greta Gerwig] life. But she did grow up in Sacramento and she was in a theatre group. And I think we both wanted to be more like Lady Bird. But we were both more like rule followers. I didn’t mind being influenced by the way [Greta] was. But I couldn’t just carbon copy .
On her Activism:
“I don’t consider myself an Activist. I think it would be unfair for me to say that. We (Actors) are a mouthpiece for the people who actually know what they’re talking about. That’s how I’ve always felt about. I’ve met a lot of people who support incredible causes and are passionate and hardworking about it. And I’m kind of like everyone else asking, ‘What can I do? What do you need me to do to spread that message further?’ I think there are a lot of people who do far more than I do.”.
On Timothée Chalamet:
“[In Lady Bird] we only had a few scenes together. I always knew he was special and magnetic. We are very different people and in our approaches to work. I remember we were on the way to set and were talking about our families and normal stuff. We always felt very comfortable with each other. He’s American and European as well. We sort of were able to tap into that. On Little Women, that’s where it felt more like a collaboration. We had these lengthy scenes where we would ebb and flow performance-wise. He’s someone I want to continue to work with.”.
“I think it’s a luck of the draw whether you get to work with someone who you click with. Kate and I had met and just got on straight away. I think a big part of that is her because she is friendly and open. One of the good things about the junkets and awards season is getting to meet a lot of wonderful people in the mix of the madness. So, I met her a couple of times doing that stuff. And then this came around and she was a real supporter for me doing it. We were just really lucky we got on straight away. Two women getting to come together, and with more of the intimate scenes and being able to choreograph the love scenes ourselves was great. Especially with Kate.”.
On taking on so many roles:
“I don’t work as much as other people. I’m at a place at the minute where I don’t need to run into a job just to work. I think because I’ve been doing it for 16 years or more now. It’s very important that I don’t burn out or kind of lose the love for it. It’s important for me to protect the bond with my work that I have.”.
Francis Lee’s latest takes us to 19th-century Dorset. It follows real-life Palaeontologist Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) as she searches the coastline for marine fossils. She spends her days alone, walking the shore and helping at her mother’s tiny shop. Soon she finds her solitary life becomes upended when she’s asked by another Palaeontologist to care for his melancholic wife, Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan). In need of the money, she agrees. Gradually, Mary and Charlotte grow close.
Lee does an amazing job shooting the Film in a show-don’t-tell way. There is limited dialogue throughout. Instead, he creates scenes where the weather, objects and characters actions speak volumes. This becomes integral in escalating visually the blossoming love between Mary and Charlotte. In the First Act, Mary is rightfully angry and curt, while Charlotte is mourning the loss of her child. The beautiful coast’s weather parallels their emotions. There are overcast skies and violent waves attacking the coastline. As they spend time together, the clouds clear and the waters calm.
Ammonite is more than a period-Romance. Lee focuses on the work of the incredible Mary and the theme of women taking ownership of their work. During the 19th-century, no Scientific Society would take-in a woman. No matter how hard and astounding Mary’s work was, she was excluded. However, there were male Scientists who were interested in learning from her, being the best in her field. But in the end, they knew she was in need of money. So, they would pay her for what she found and put their names on it. In focusing on this, Lee enhances his Script with a love story involving ownership and class.
Mary loved and lived for her work. It didn’t matter that in doing so, she wouldn’t be part of the upper-class. However, Charlotte is part of the upper-class. It’s here that conflict arises in their relationship. So many times, we have witnessed a forbidden same-sex romance. Although that is at play here, Ammonite focuses on their differing upbringings and that divides them no matter how badly they want to be together. Once again, Lee shows us this instead of telling us. He places his characters on opposite sides of Mary’s glassed sea-creature on display inside the British Museum.
With the talent of Winslet and Ronan in the Film’s lead roles, we are expecting greatness, and they do not disappoint. Winslet is always dynamite. Here, she gives one of her strongest performances. She encapsulates the anger Mary has for having to sell her work and her vulnerability when falling in love with Charlotte. Ronan gives a performance like we’ve never seen from her before. She’s strongest in portraying Charlotte’s grief and her desperation to keep Mary close to her. Their raw emotion feels authentic and honest, especially in their love scenes that are shot meticulously and delicately. And with minimal screen time, Fiona Shaw captivates as a previous love of Mary’s.
While at times it lags a little, this period-Romance which fuses Gender Politics and Classism, is made-up for with stellar performances, particularly by Winslet.
Official TIFF ’20 selection AMMONITE gets its first official Trailer. We know many of you like us are excited about this!
1840s England, acclaimed but overlooked fossil hunter Mary Anning(Kate Winslet) and a young woman (Saoirse Ronan) sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
See the Trailer:
AMMONITE is in theatres this November via Elevation Pictures.
While we’re sad it isn’t announced for TIFF ’19, we are happy about getting to see its Trailer finally for Greta Gerwig’s reimagining of LITTLE WOMEN.
Writer-Director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the Film stars SaoirseRonan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.
See the Trailer:
Sony Pictures Canada release LITTLE WOMEN this Christmas.
Universal Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to take Readers to an Advance Screening of MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS in Montreal and Vancouver on Monday, December 10, 2018.
Synopsis: Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan), who was the Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18. Defying pressure to remarry, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie).
Mary sends Elizabeth a letter saying that she hopes they will be able to rule side by side in harmony. Elizabeth responds affirmatively and graciously. However, there is grumbling amongst the male courtiers about having to serve women. They try to turn Elizabeth against Mary, calling her their foe.
Mary weds again, this time to Henry Stuart and gives birth to a son, James. Elizabeth, who is still childless, begins to believe that Mary wants to take over the English throne. Elizabeth’s male advisors insist she should go to war with Scotland. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and lead to tragic outcomes.
Premiering at TIFF ’17, we get a fresh look at ON CHESIL BEACH starring It Girl Saoirse Ronan!
Synopsis: ON CHESIL BEACH starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle is based on Ian McEwan’s novel. In England in 1962, a young couple finds their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.
See the Trailer:
Elevation Pictures release ON CHESIL BEACHFriday, May 25, 2018.
The 75th annual Golden Globes Awards took place tonight in Beverly Hills, California. With the #TimesUp initiative front and center of our attentions, we saw all talent uniformly wearing black to draw attention to the cause for equality and an end to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Seth Meyers hosted the affair boldly poking-fun at the likes of Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein. In the face of change, he calls 2018 “the year marijuana was allowed and sexual harassment wasn’t anymore.”.
Oprah Winfrey who next can be seen in Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time, was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. Her Wrinkle Co-Star Reese Witherspoon introduced her as being all “a noun, a verb and an adjective”. And even Meyers joked DeMille should be honoured she was given the award. Winfrey recalls herself as a kid in Milwaukee back in 1964, watching Anne Bancroft speak a historic five words on television, “The winner is Sidney Poitier“. She hopes to inspire another black girl watching tonight seeing her be named the first ever black Cecil B. DeMille Award Winner. Winfrey states, “I wanted to express gratitude to all women who endured years of abuse and assault as they like my mother had mouths to feed, bills to pay and dreams to pursue.”. Recounting the story of rape (1944) victim Recy Taylor whose six attackers never were persecuted, she defiantly states that we are at the end of an era, “Their time us up!”.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri scored huge in the Film categories including a win for Motion Picture Drama. Martin McDonagh was awarded Screenplay for the Filmwhich he also directed. He jokes, “My mother really wanted Lady Bird to win.”. Oscar Winner Frances McDormand before tonight had been nominated seven times for a Globe, but finally received her first win for Actress in a Motion Picture Drama. She declined to make political comments but expressed pride that the Film still is filling seats in brick and mortar theatres across the U.S. the “old-fashioned” way. Sam Rockwell, after a career spanning almost three decades, finally won a Golden Globe for his work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. “It’s nice to be in a movie people saw”, he kids before thanking others involved with the TIFF ’17 People’s Choice Award-winning Film and also wife Leslie Bibb.
HBO’s Big Little Lies was a major force in the Television categories winning TV Miniseriesor Movie. Nicole Kidman was awarded her fourth Golden Globe for her Actress work, thanking her Co-Star, Co-Producer and fellow Nominee Reese Witherspoon with whom together she brought the HBO release to Television. Kidman despite getting the cue to shorten her speech, thanked her husband Country Star Keith Urban last, telling him “When your cheek is pressed against mine, the whole world just melts away, I love you.”. Co-Stars Laura Dern and AlexanderSkarsgård also won for their work as Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress (Dern‘s fourth Globe too!) in the Miniseries.
Lady Bird, which premiered at TIFF ’17, won Comedy or Musical. The Film which loosely is based on GretaGerwig‘s life, also is her directorial debut. Gerwig thanked her hometown Sacramento for giving her the wings and roots needed to succeed in life. 23-year-old Saoirse Ronan already has been nominated for three Globes but alas gets her first win tonight for her acclaimed work in Lady Bird. She kept pointing-out in her humble speech how her mom out of excitement was in the audience on FaceTime while she was on-stage.
Visionary Guillermo del Toro made a teary acceptance for Director with The Shape of Water while the Orchestra had tried drowning his speech out due to time restrictions. “Turn the music down, it’s taken me 25 years to get here” he said, drawing cheers from the audience. Moments before, Natalie Portman presenting his award alongside Ron Howard, pointed-out how all Nominees in the Category were male.
Gary Oldman was awarded Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in TIFF ’17 selection Darkest Hour. In his speech, he told us how his wife puts-up with his incredible dedication telling others “I go to bed with Winston Churchill and wake-up with Gary Oldman.”.
Jeered widely for having made the worst movie of all time, The Room, Filmmaker and Cult Icon Tommy Wiseau got the last laugh joining Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy Winner James Franco on-stage tonight. Franco stars in and directs The Disaster Artist which recounts Wiseau‘s process making that Cult Classic. Franco thanked his younger brother Dave in his speech saying “He always wanted his own Coen Brother” to make Films with and it looks like he too along with Wiseau saw his dream come true.
Allison Janney who delivers a chilling portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya, was awarded a well-deserved Globe beating-out some stiff competition including Laurie Metcalf whom many also feel is deserving for her work in Lady Bird. Janney made a poignant statement about perception of truth in Media, an enlightenment after having worked on the Film which gives us a fresh perspective on the disgraced Figure Skater. It was a good night for both Tommy Wiseau and Tonya Harding.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was this year’s Dark Horse, winning Comedy Series and also Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) winning Actress in a Comedy Series. The Amazon Series centers on a Jewish housewife in the ’50s who becomes a Stand-up Comedian.
Elisabeth Moss shone a light on Canada dedicating her Actress in a Drama Series win to Margaret Atwood who wrote the source material on which Toronto-made The Handsmaid’s Tale is based. The Series also took home a Globe for DramaSeries. This is her second GoldenGlobe win, her first for Miniseries Top of the Lake.
After four nominations, Ewan McGregor finally gets his first Globe win for Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie with Fargo. Another Canadian connection, the Series was filmed in Calgary.
Sterling K. Brown was awarded his first Globe for his work on Series This is Us. The rising star next can be seen in Marvel’s Black Panther and reminded his kids in his speech he’d be there to take them to school tomorrow morning, in addition to expressing his awe of Oprah Winfrey being seated before himon the podium.
After getting a nod last year and seeing MASTER OF NONE, for which he has directing and writing credits, Funnyman Aziz Ansari gets a Globe for Actor in a Comedy Series. He becomes the first ever South Asian Actor to win a Globe.
In addition to having grossed almost $600 million worldwide, Disney•Pixar‘s Coco goes on to Globe success, winning Animated Feature.
Hot off its #1 success on the Billboard Hot 200 Album Chart, The Greatest Showman also wins a Globe for Original Song, This is Me, sung by Keala Settle and also Kesha.
Fatih Akin‘s In the Fade won Foreign Language Film. The German Film starring Diane Kruger as a woman dealing with the aftermath of a terrorist attack, received a TIFF ’17 Premiere.
Awards Season culminates in the Academy Awards which air Sunday, March 4, 2018 on ABC, 7 PM ET.
Elevation Pictures x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto a chance to win Advance Passes and Run-of-Engagement Passes to see acclaimed TIFF ’17 selection LADY BIRD.
Advance Screenings are as follows:
Halifax: Scotiabank Halifax at 7:30pm
Winnipeg: St. Vital at 7:30pm
Calgary: Eau Claire at 7:00pm
Vancouver: 5th Avenue at 7:00pm
Edmonton: North Edmonton at 7:00pm
High school senior Christine McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) — also known by the nickname she chose for herself, Lady Bird — is desperate to get out of California. She can’t wait to move to the East Coast, where she dreams of big city life and Ivy League universities.
However, because her grades are nothing spectacular and she has no connections, Lady Bird decides she needs to add extracurriculars to make her college applications stand out.
She considers joining Math Olympiad, but her math grades are terrible, so she joins the drama club. Meanwhile, her mother, who doesn’t understand Lady Bird’s aspirations and desire to move far away, has her hands full supporting the family by working double shifts as a nurse. She struggles to understand her self-centered daughter, who believes she deserves everything in life and that everyone should love her the way she is.
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Elevation Pictures release LADY BIRDFriday, November 10, 2017.